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Thursday , 24 June 2021

Alberta speeding up second-dose appointments

All Albertans will soon be able to receive a second dose of vaccine, helping fully protect them and all Albertans from COVID-19.

Alberta’s vaccine rollout continues to reach new milestones, with more than 2.8 million doses administered to date and 63.4 per cent of Albertans aged 12-plus having received at least one dose.

Albertans will be able to schedule second-dose appointments in the order they received their first doses.

  • Anyone vaccinated in March or earlier can book their second dose starting June 1.
  • Anyone vaccinated in April can book their second dose starting June 14.
  • Anyone vaccinated in May can book their second dose starting June 28.

The government says a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine offers at least 80 per cent protection against severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death. However, second doses are needed to get the best and most long-lasting protection against the virus.

Alberta is a national leader in second doses, with 10.4 per cent of eligible Albertans already fully protected with two doses.

“Every Albertan who has received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be able to book their second dose by the end of the month,” Jason Kenney, Premier said. “This will provide Albertans with even more protection as we get ready to be open for summer and get back to normal. Please do your part by booking your second doses so we can beat COVID-19, once and for all.”

Booking a second-dose appointment

Where possible, AHS and participating pharmacies that administered the first dose will contact Albertans to remind them they are eligible for their second dose.

“First doses have brought Albertans much-needed relief to our families, our communities and our health system, but two doses are necessary for full protection,” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health said. “We are staggering the second-dose rollout to start with those who received their first dose earliest. Thank you to the AHS workers, pharmacists and physicians who continue to work tirelessly to administer these vaccines and to all Albertans who have chosen to get protected.”

However, Albertans do not need to wait to be contacted to book an appointment once they become eligible. Albertans can choose to book a second dose wherever they wish to be immunized.

Appointments for second doses can be made online through the AHS website, by calling 811 or through participating pharmacies and physicians’ offices. Second doses will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

While the interval between first and second doses will start at 12 weeks, Alberta will now be able to offer second-dose appointments at progressively earlier intervals, provided vaccine supply remains stable.

  • For Pfizer and Moderna, the interval will be lowered over time to a minimum of three to four weeks as supply becomes available and we work through the eligible groups.
  • For AstraZeneca, the interval will be lowered over time to a minimum recommended length of eight weeks or more for best effectiveness.

AstraZeneca

Albertans who received an AstraZeneca dose in March or earlier can now book second-dose appointments. Anyone who received it in April or May should wait until eight weeks have passed since their first dose before booking.

Albertans who received a first dose of AstraZeneca will have a choice:

  • book a second appointment for AstraZeneca by going to the online AHS booking site, calling 811, or going to a pharmacy listed on the Alberta Blue Cross website
  • book a second appointment for an mRNA vaccine through participating pharmacies or AHS

First doses

Bookings for first doses remain the top priority. Albertans who have not yet received their first dose of vaccine protection are encouraged to book an appointment as soon as possible.

“I strongly urge all Albertans to book their second-dose appointments in the coming weeks and months,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health said. “It is critical that everyone who has received their first dose shows up for their second. In the meantime, we all need to continue to follow public health measures to keep driving transmission down.”

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner!