Plans underway for COVID-19 vaccination clinic at southern Alberta meat packing plant

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Click to play video: 'Kenney says government was' very transparent 'about COVID-19 at High River Cargill plant'



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The High River Cargill meat-packing plant will soon be home to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced Thursday morning.

AHS, the Alberta International Medical Graduates Association, and the Highland, Mosaic and Calgary Rural Primary Care Networks are partnering in this effort and the planning process is currently underway.

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Dr Gabriel Fabreau, assistant professor at the University of Calgary and researcher at the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, said the increase in variant cases in the province “has radically changed the rules of the game.”

“What we know now that we didn’t know back then is that COVID is airborne,” said Fabreau, whose work includes the health of refugees and underserved populations.

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“The risk of transmission in a meat factory is almost ideal: you put thousands of workers inside nearby, where it’s noisy so you have to shout, the work is hard so you have to breathe hard, there has a lot of metal the surfaces and ventilation are probably inadequate for what we need. “

Fabreau has provided scientific evidence in meetings with employers, AHSs and organizations focused on newcomers to advocate for a targeted immunization program at sites like meat packing plants that are over-represented by immigrants and newcomers.

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“There is growing evidence to support targeting high-risk locations and critical frontline workers,” Fabreau told Global News. “All of them will contribute to considerably reducing the chains of transmission.

Cargill occupational health nurses will provide the vaccines and AHS will provide the COVID-19 vaccination vials. AHS has also offered public health nurses to help train Cargill nurses, and AHS and PCN will provide support with planning and running the clinics.

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Immunization at Cargill’s meat packaging plant will be part of Phase 2C of the province’s vaccine deployment plan, which is expected to begin this month.

Fabreau will participate in the voluntary immunization program at the Cargill plant, as well as organizations focused on newcomers who will assist with on-site translation.

In a press release, the provincial health authority said it “will consider expanding this pilot project to other meat processing plants in the coming weeks, as our vaccine supply becomes more consistent. .

Fabreau said the beating is expected to start on April 20 and continue for a few days, with the aim of getting gunshots in all the arms of Cargill employees.

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“This is what health equity is,” said Fabreau. “When you know there are increased barriers for some people, it is up to the health system to try to overcome those barriers to ensure that people are protected who are facing what we now know to be a risk. very increased.

The High River plant, south of Calgary, was the site of a major COVID-19 outbreak last year. Nearly half of the 2,200 workers at the Cargill plant, which closed for two weeks last April, have contracted the virus. Three deaths were linked to the epidemic.

With files from the Canadian Press.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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