Alberta announced on Wednesday morning that it will be moving into Phase 3 of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout program.
Phase 3 opens eligibility for everyone over the age of 12 to make an appointment to receive their first dose of the vaccine. This expansion allows 3.8 million Albertans to qualify for vaccination.
“This is a very exciting day for Alberta and it arrives right when we need it the most,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a news release. “We are battling an extremely aggressive third wave of COVID-19 and we know that vaccines are our best weapon against it.
“By opening bookings to everybody over 12 years of age, we are taking a huge step towards stopping the spike and hopefully putting this pandemic behind us for good,” he continued.
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To avoid overwhelming booking systems, the latest rollout will happen in two phases.
Starting on May 6, every Albertan aged 30 or older (born in 1991 or earlier) can book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine through Alberta Health Services (AHS) or a participating pharmacy.
On May 10, appointment bookings will be expanded to include all Albertans aged 12 to 29 (born between 2009 and 1992).
Eligible individuals can book appointments to receive a mRNA vaccine through AHS’s online booking system or by calling 811.
Albertans can also book an appointment for these vaccines at participating pharmacies.
“We vowed to protect those who were most at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 first,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “We’ve done just that, and now, happily, we can move to protect the general population.”
“We are ahead of schedule,” he added, “and delivering on our promise to provide at least one dose to every adult Albertan who wants one by June 30. Now that we have gotten to this point, every Albertan can help drive cases down by getting vaccinated.”
As of May 3, 1,668,455 doses have been administered in the province, with 303,509 Albertans considered fully immunized with two doses of the vaccine.