Alberta reports 1,616 new cases of COVID-19, prepares to open walk-in vaccine clinics

Apr 16 2021, 11:03 pm

Alberta reported 1,616 additional COVID-19 cases on Friday, making it the tenth day in a row that over 1,000 new infections have been found.

There are now 16,759 active cases in the province.

Of the new cases, 898 were variants of concern, which is slightly less than Thursday’s count. Alberta currently has 8,967 active COVID-19 variant cases, representing almost 54% of the province’s total active infections.

There are 423 people in hospital due to the virus, including 93 Albertans in intensive care.

There were no new deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours, leaving the province’s death toll at 2,034.

During a live COVID-19 update on Thursday afternoon, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, announced that, starting April 17, Alberta Health Services will accept walk-ins at two existing rapid flow COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

The clinics and their walk-in hours are as follows.

The Edmonton EXPO Centre at 7515 118th Avenue NW:

  • April 17 and 18: 12:30 to 4 pm
  • April 19 and 20: 12:30 to 6:45 pm
  • April 21: 12:30 to 4 pm

The Southport Calgary location at 10301 Southport Lane SW:

  • April 17 to 21: 8:30 am to 3:45 pm

Hours at these clinics may be extended based on available vaccine and demand.

Albertans aged 55 to 64 can attend these locations to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine without an appointment. Dr. Hinshaw noted that any eligible Albertans can receive the vaccine at these walk-in clinics – they do not need to be a resident of Calgary or Edmonton.

This is in addition to the 26 pharmacies in Calgary and Edmonton currently offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to Albertans aged 55 to 64 on a walk-in basis.

The Alberta government addressed concerns about the rare blood clots linked to AstraZeneca in a news release.

“More than 27,500 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Alberta, along with 58,000 doses of CoviSHIELD/AstraZeneca,” reads the release. “There have been no confirmed cases of the rare blood clots known as vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT) in Alberta, and only one case in all of Canada.”

According to information provided in the release, AstraZeneca’s first dose reduces infection by 60 to 70% and, importantly, hospitalization and risk of death is reduced by 80%.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine is effective at reducing severe illness from COVID-19, and is effective against the variant that’s most dominant in Alberta,” said Dr. Hinshaw. “With cases rising, I recommend that those who are eligible take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves.”

As of April 15, 1,082,391 doses of the vaccine had been administered in the province, with 211,667 Albertans having received the two doses required to be considered fully immunized.

Dr. Hinshaw will be providing her next live update about COVID-19 early next week.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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