Alberta is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine rollout program this week to include more than 105,000 additional individuals.
During a Monday afternoon press conference, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that the province would be opening up eligibility to teachers, early childhood educators, and support staff beginning Tuesday, May 4.
“With more vaccines coming in, we are expanding the rollout to further protect schools and childcare facilities,” said Kenney.
“We know how challenging this pandemic has been on our frontline workers,” he continued. “They have worked incredibly hard throughout this pandemic, continuing to teach and provide support for young people every day. By offering them the vaccine, we are making schools, daycares and communities safer throughout our province.”
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Alberta teachers and education workers can now begin making their appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the Alberta Health Services online booking tool, by calling 811, or at participating pharmacies.
“All certificated teachers actively teaching in kindergarten through Grade 12 are eligible,” reads a new release from the Alberta government.
This includes public, separate, francophone, charter, private/independent/ECS operators, and First Nations schools, substitute teachers, administrators, and other certified teachers working in separate roles.
Also qualifying in this phase are support workers, such as educational assistants, bus drivers, and custodians, and certified early childhood educators and their support staff.
This makes all staff working in licensed childcare programs, including daycares, out-of-school care programs, preschools, and family day homes eligible to receive the vaccine.
“We know there are many benefits to being in a classroom – for students and for education professionals,” said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. “Moving forward with vaccines for teachers, school support and administrative staff and bus drivers will add another layer of protection in schools so that students can continue safely learning in class to the greatest extent possible.”
Bookings will operate on the honour system, and no proof of employment is required for these individuals to receive their vaccine.
As of May 2, 1,640,303 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province; 301,398 Albertans are now fully immunized with two doses of the vaccine.