Starting Monday, Nov. 8, the following Albertans will be eligible to book a third dose of COVID vaccine:
- All Albertans aged 70 and older
- First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) people aged 18 and older
- Front-line healthcare workers who received their first two doses less than eight weeks apart
- Albertans who received two doses of AstraZeneca or one dose of Jansen while abroad
FNMI people and front-line health workers must also have received their second dose more than six months ago to be eligible.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw said new information indicates protection against COVID-19 may decrease over time in certain populations, including those who had shorter intervals between two doses.
“Additional doses will boost protection levels for these individuals and help prevent transmission of the virus,” Hinshaw said. “Currently, the evidence is not conclusive on the need for additional doses for the general population, but we are continuing to monitor the research.”
Eligible individuals can book third dose appointments with AHS and participating pharmacies by using the Alberta vaccine booking system starting Nov. 8. They can also call 811, participating pharmacies or participating physicians’ offices.
Individuals aged 18 and older who live on a First Nations reserve will be able to access third doses through public health clinics or nursing stations on-reserve.
Vaccinations are required for admission to many facilities and restaurants under the province’s Restrictions Exemption Program; however, on Wednesday, Premier Kenney said he’s asked health officials to see if evidence of naturally acquired COVID-19 antibodies could be used in lieu of proof-of-vaccine.
NDP Health Critic David Shepherd was quick to call the message irresponsible.
“By leaving the door open to incorporating prior infection into the Restrictions Exemption Program, the Premier is telling Albertans that one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID is to get COVID,” Shepherd said. “This message is not only outrageously incorrect, it contributes to vaccine hesitancy by encouraging Albertans who are on the fence to wait even longer, or risk getting the virus.”