Beginning this week, Alberta residents aged 40 and over will be able to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
On April 20 at 8 am, participating pharmacies and Alberta Health Services (AHS) will begin booking appointments for Albertans born in 1981 or earlier to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. Walk-in vaccinations will be available at the walk-in clinics in Edmonton and Calgary, and specific pharmacies across the province.
Appointments to receive the vaccine at AHS locations can be made through the online booking system or by calling 811.
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Lowering the eligibility age means 575,425 additional Albertans can be vaccinated, bringing the province’s total eligible population to 2.3 million.
Alberta’s decision to lower the age from 55 to 40 to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine is based on public health recommendations. According to a news release, health authorities looked at the benefits of vaccination compared to the small risk of adverse events from this vaccine.
AstraZeneca has been shown to reduce COVID-19 infection by 60 to 70%, and severe outcomes, such as hospitalization, by 80%.
“I recommend any Albertan who is 40 or older [to] consider getting the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as possible,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer or health, said in the news release.
“I know some Albertans have concerns about recent cases of blood clots. 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 in the province, and there are over 170,000 doses currently available. A total of 1,147,048 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Alberta.