If you are an Albertan aged 40 or over you will now be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19.
Starting today, Tuesday April 20, participating pharmacies and Alberta Health Services (AHS) will begin booking appointments for AstraZeneca vaccinations for Alberta residents born in 1981 or earlier.
Certain clinics will offer walk-in vaccinations in Edmonton and Calgary, as well as specific pharmacies across the province.
By lowering the age requirement the government says 575,425 more Albertans can be vaccinated, bringing the total eligible population to 2.3 million.
Tyler Shandro is the Minister of Health for the Government of Alberta.
“With COVID-19 cases at high levels throughout the province, we are lowering the age eligibility for this vaccine so that as many Albertans as possible are able to choose the protection this vaccine offers,” Minister Shandro said. “The more people that get vaccinated as quickly as possible, the sooner we can protect our communities, reduce the burden on our healthcare system, and get life back to normal in our province.”
This enforced Alberta’s decision to reduce the age of eligibility for AstraZeneca from age 55 to 40, which is based on public health recommendations. The government says that the benefit of receiving the vaccine outweighs the “small risk of adverse events from this vaccine.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw is the chief medical officer of health for the Government of Alberta.
“I recommend any Albertan who is 40 or older consider getting the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as possible. I know some Albertans have concerns about recent cases of blood clots,” Dr. Hinshaw said. “This is understandable, and it is also important to remember that these cases are extremely rare. This vaccine helps prevent the much higher risks that come from COVID-19 infection, helping to protect both you and those around you.”
As of April 17, more than 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered and there are more than 170,000 doses available.