Alberta reports 267 new COVID-19 cases as seniors prepare to be vaccinated

Feb 23 2021, 3:06 pm

Alberta’s top doctor revealed more details about the province’s strategy to vaccinate seniors Tuesday while reporting a steady number of new COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 267 new infections Tuesday and a positivity rate of 4.4%, which is similar to figures seen in recent days.

Another 11 people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing Alberta’s death toll to 1,853. There are also 326 people in hospital, including 51 in intensive care.

Hinshaw announces details on senior vaccination strategy

Alberta is preparing to expand COVID-19 vaccinations to all seniors born in 1946 or earlier. Starting February 24, all Albertans who turn 75 this year will be able to make a vaccine appointment through Alberta Health Services.

Appointments can be made starting at 8 am Wednesday on Alberta Health Services’ website or by calling HealthLink at 811.

Family members of seniors are allowed and encouraged to help them book an appointment and get to the vaccination site, Hinshaw said.

There will be 58 vaccination sites around the province so people can get their dose as close to home as possible.

Hinshaw advised patience as the booking system opens since there will be thousands of new eligible seniors and only a limited number of appointments. People will be sent to a digital waiting room before having access to available appointments in an effort to prevent the website from crashing.

“We expect there will be enormous demand for immunizations,” Hinshaw said.

Appointments are being made based on vaccine availability, so everyone may not get an appointment on February 24. They’re encouraged to keep checking back, Hinshaw said.

She expects all Alberta seniors who want a vaccine to be able to get their first dose by the end of March.

Vaccination appointments will be scheduled seven days a week between 8:30 am and 3:40 pm. Those hours will be expanded when Alberta receives more vaccine doses.

Hinshaw asked everyone to bring their photo ID and health card to their vaccine appointment. Seniors who can’t find transportation can call 211 for assistance.