Calgary’s northeast has slowest vaccine demand in the city despite being COVID-19 hotspot
CALGARY -- Calgary’s upper northeast region has more than 1,000 active COVID-19 cases and has been battered by the virus since the start of the pandemic.
There are 895.9 active cases per 100,000 in that part of Calgary but just a little more than 32 percent of residents are vaccinated, putting uptake at the lowest in the city.
Calgary-Elbow has 315.9 active cases per 100,000, and 54 percent of residents there, have received their first jab.
Dr. Gabriel Fabreaum, who works at the Peter Lougheed Centre and is on the Alberta Advisory Panel, suggests hard-hit communities need more access to vaccines, which should be redirected places like the northeast.
“We would more efficiently reduce transmissions, reduce hospitalizations reduce infections reduce deaths and get this pandemic under control,” he said.
“These are our lower-income neighbourhoods, full of frontline essential workers. They come from multigenerational homes, with lower and more crowded housing and they are going to work to feed their families.”
Fabreau says many residents in these impacted areas cannot work from home, like so many other Albertans can.
He adds it's not hesitancy that is causing people to not being vaccinated, instead, it's due to supply.
Ward 5 Coun. George Chahal says he would like to see pop-up clinics in neighbourhoods, allowing residents to get easy access to their first dose.
“We have millions of vaccines here, and it's about getting them in people’s arms as quickly as possible,” he said.
“Break down the barriers whether it comes from communications, language access within their communities. We’ve seen these doctors do a tremendous job with the pop-ups at the meat plants.”
Chahal referencing plants such as Cargill, where workers were inoculated in the span of a few days to help curb the spread.
Fabreau said on Tuesday he has spoken with Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health and she is supportive of the ideas brought forward and details will be forthcoming about vaccines being divvied up to communities like the northeast.