Alberta has now begun the rollout of second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine across the province.
During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that the province is set to begin widely offering second doses, with some individuals able to start booking their next shot immediately.
“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,” Premier Kenney 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.”
Albertans who were vaccinated in March can book a second dose starting on Tuesday, June 1.
Those who received their first dose in April can schedule their next shot beginning June 14, and individuals who were vaccinated in May can start booking appointments to receive their second shot on June 28.
Big news on second doses in Alberta! 💉 + 💉
Every single Albertan who has received their first dose will be able to book their second by the end of June.
Details below: ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/kEtG2ZOfRL
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) June 1, 2021
According to health officials, a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine offers at least 80% protection against severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death. “However,” said the Alberta government in a press release, “second doses are needed to get the best and most long-lasting protection against the virus.”
Previously, only those who were considered profoundly immunocompromised were eligible to receive a second dose of the vaccine.
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The Alberta government said that, where possible, AHS and participating pharmacies that administered first doses will contact Albertans to remind them they are eligible for their second dose.
However, Albertans don’t need to wait to be contacted, and appointments for second doses can be scheduled with AHS by calling 811 or using their online booking system, or at participating pharmacies and physician offices.
The government noted that bookings for first doses remain the top priority, and 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,” the Alberta government said.
As of May 30, there have been 2,781,430 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in the province, and 391,175 individuals have been fully immunized with two doses of vaccine.