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Home > CANADA > Alberta’s COVID-19 gives rise to a warning. Vaccines alone ‘will not be fast enough’: Tam

Alberta’s COVID-19 gives rise to a warning. Vaccines alone ‘will not be fast enough’: Tam

Alberta’s COVID-19 gives rise to a warning.  Vaccines alone ‘will not be fast enough’: Tam

Canada’s top doctor says Alberta’s COVID-19 response is an example of the kind of consequences a jurisdiction can have if it reopens prematurely.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s head of public health, told reporters at a news conference Thursday that COVID surges could be tamed if provinces act fast enough, but acknowledged vaccines are taking time – suggesting Alberta has run out of it so far.

“We are always learning this pandemic, and navigating through the next few months will not be an easy thing,” she said.

“If measures are released too quickly and vaccination rates do not rise fast enough … you make room for this virus to accelerate if your vaccine coverage does not move faster than your reopening or mitigation measures.”

Read more:

Alberta adds COVID-19 measures, vaccine passes in efforts to prevent healthcare system collapse

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Tam’s comments come amid a sharp rise in cases and hospitalizations in Alberta. The province, which eased almost all public health restrictions as part of its July 1 “Open to Summer” plan, is in national focus for its current handling of the fourth wave.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jason Kenney apologized to Albertans for his decision to remove the protection. He reintroduced a state of emergency and several public health measures, including a vaccine passport and mandatory homework rules, unless an employer determines that physical presence is required.


Click to play video: '' We were wrong ': Jason Kenney apologizes for switching to COVID-19 endemic ahead of 4th wave'







‘We were wrong’: Jason Kenney apologizes for switching to COVID-19 endemic ahead of 4th wave


‘We were wrong’: Jason Kenney apologizes for switching to COVID-19 endemic ahead of 4th wave

Kenney said his government had “reluctantly” reverted to its commitment to “stay open for good” and not bring in a vaccine pass because the fourth wave of the pandemic is pushing the capacity of Alberta’s healthcare system to the extreme.

At the time of Alberta’s “Open for Summer” plan, cases were declining, but picked up again in late July.

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When asked about Alberta’s situation, Tam urged other provinces to remain “very vigilant against this virus.”

She put it plainly: “Do not be complacent.”

“When you do not have so many cases, the simpler measures such as masking, especially indoors, spaces and other measures … can be done now to prevent an increase that could overwhelm the health system,” she said.

“If you experience that kind of surge, vaccines will not be fast enough. You need to add the additional measures. ”

Party leaders throw shots over the Alberta crisis

The situation in Alberta was also a hot topic on the campaign trail on Thursday.

Opposition party leaders targeted Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in the run-up to the fourth wave of elections.

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Alberta, Saskatchewan COVID-19 gets a lesson for the rest of Canada: experts

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh spoke in Toronto, calling Trudeau a “failure.” He also criticized Kenney.

“When we talk about leadership, the Conservatives have absolutely failed, there is no doubt about it. Mr. “Kenney is a failure in leadership, and unfortunately the people of Alberta are suffering because of that failure,” he said.

“Mr Trudeau is also a failure. Let’s not forget, he called a choice. He decided, knowing with all the evidence we had – there was not a potential fourth wave that would certainly happen a fourth wave – and he decided to call for an election instead of continuing to help people out. It is a colossal management mistake. “


Click to play video: 'Elections in Canada: Singh says NDP will' fight 'for Alberta in the midst of COVID-19 state of emergency'







Elections in Canada: Singh says NDP will ‘fight’ for Alberta amid state of emergency COVID-19


Elections in Canada: Singh says NDP will ‘fight’ for Alberta amid state of emergency COVID-19

In Nova Scotia, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole danced around questions about Alberta and support for Kenney, but said provinces need more help than Trudeau offers.

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“Through this crisis, all provinces have tried to strike the balance between public health and balancing economic needs,” he said.

“All provinces have shifted and adjusted based on the different waves of the pandemic, but what the provinces have not had is a consistent and dependent partner in Ottawa. Sir. Trudeau fights with people – I want to fight for Canadians. ”


Click to play video: 'Trudeau says it's not his job' to tell people what to do 'about Alberta's COVID-19 crisis'







Trudeau says it is not his job to ‘tell people what to do’ in Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis


Trudeau says it is not his job to ‘tell people what to do’ in Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis

In Montreal, Trudeau said his government has sent billions in aid to help with pandemic support, but said it is not his job to “judge or criticize or definitely tell” the provinces what to do.

He suggested that if Alberta introduced a vaccination mandate before, like other provinces, the situation could have been different.

“Our job is to encourage, support financially. We have sent billions of dollars to the provinces over the last year to help with health care, to help with back-to-school, to help support science, to help test … I think What Canadians see in this is that leadership matters no matter what level, ”he said.

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“The choices we make about who we should choose to lead the government in a time of crisis, whether at the provincial level or at the federal level, dictate how we should do.”

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Canada’s top doctors say Alberta’s COVID-19 plan could have ripple effects across the country

In late July, Canada’s top doctors criticized Alberta’s easing of COVID-19 measures, which included ending asymptomatic testing and no longer notifying close contacts about exposure.

Tam said on July 30 that she wanted people to continue isolating, being tested for COVID-19 and informing their close contacts, even though it was no longer required.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy director of public health, added at the time that he was concerned the consequences of Alberta’s decision could spread across the country.

“Everyone is alive with the fact that there can be, as they say, ‘knock-on effects’ to the other provinces and territories with travel within Canada.”

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