Province speeding up vaccine rollout

by Stephen Dafoe

Starting Apr. 7, the Government of Alberta is introducing four new measures making COVID-19 vaccines available to another 500,000 Albertans.

“We are in a race between the vaccines and variants, and finally doses are arriving in significant numbers,” Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday. “We will use these to aggressively expand our rollout, speeding up the timelines and expanding the ways that we get the doses to Albertans. We will meet or surpass our promise to offer every adult a first dose by June 30.”

Starting Apr. 7, those born in 2005 or earlier with eligible underlying health conditions can book appointments for the vaccine at participating pharmacies or with Alberta Health Services (AHS) online or by calling 811.

The roughly150,000 Albertans eligible under Phase 2B are those with underlying health conditions born in or before 1973. Expanding to those born in 2005 or before opens eligibility to 500,000.

Information on eligible health conditions, including examples, is available at alberta.ca/vaccine.

Additionally. Albertans 55 to 64 who do not have a chronic health condition can now make an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. Effective immediately, anyone born between 1957 and 1966 can book appointments at participating pharmacies across the province. AHS will also begin booking appointments starting on Monday, April 12.

Despite reports that AstraZeneca vaccine has caused blood clots, the government says the rare blood clots reported in Europe have not been reported in Canada, and that the risk of COVID-19 infection is greater than any vaccine risk.

Albertans who are 55 to 64 can wait until May to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine when Phase 2D opens.

The government is also anticipating being able to allow walk-in bookings at participating pharmacies and plans to release info on that within the next week.

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  1. My wife and I had our first shot on Saturday. Well organized, staff efficient and friendly and working hard to keep the flow going.
    I am concerned that the ramp up of first shots will worsen the recommended time frame for second shot. Currently, I was given a July “estimate” for second dose. Ramping up of initial doses is needed. I only hope there are plans in place to ramp up the efficacy of having the second dose in a timely manner.
    We are currently risking having ever higher numbers of the population in a short term gain position, and it seems hard for the system to remember there is a long term goal here as well.
    Like New Orleans, sandbagging and gas pumps are a help, but the ocean is big, and the levee needs attention constantly.

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