Wheatland Lodge residents receive COVID-19 vaccine

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Residents of Wheatland Lodge have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Jan. 6, 85 residents were vaccinated with the help of six nurses, said Vickey Cook, Wheatland Housing Management Board chief administrative officer. That same day, many residents came out of isolation made in response to an outbreak of the virus at the lodge.

“The residents were all very excited and are anticipating what this means to them in terms of more possible freedom,” said Cook, who added some residents did decline to receive the vaccine.

The residents who agreed received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which has been used throughout the province at continuing care facilities. It can be stored at typical freezer temperatures, unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored at minus 70 C.

Residents will receive a second dose of the vaccine sometime in February, she said.

Wheatland Lodge staff have not yet been vaccinated and are awaiting word from the province as to when they will be scheduled to receive it. Home healthcare staff that work at the lodge under a third party have been vaccinated, however.

Across Alberta, 37,686 doses of COVID-19 have been administered as of Jan. 7, representing about 852 doses per 100,000 people.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times