Alberta will begin to offer $100 to those who receive their first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose, Premier Jason Kenney announced on Friday.
Kenney made the announcement amid a surging wave of COVID-19 cases in Alberta, with nearly 13,000 active cases as of Thursday.
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“The delta variant is ripping its way through this group at an aggressive rate”, Kenney said of those who are not vaccinated in the province.
Since July 1, Albertans aged 20-59 had 50 to 60 times higher risk of hospitalization than those who are fully vaccinated, said Kenney. Overall, unvaccinated people made up 80% of all hospitalizations since Canada Day.
“Their choices are now jeopardizing our healthcare system,” Kenney said of those who have yet to get their COVID-19 vaccine. “What are you waiting for, please step forward. For the love of god, please get vaccinated now.”
“This is essentially a crisis of the unvaccinated,” he added.
To encourage Albertans to get vaccinated, the province will offer a $100 debit card for anyone 18+ who receive a first or second dose of vaccine between September 3 and October 14.
After vaccination, eligible Albertans will be able to register online. Alberta Health will validate registrations against provincial immunization data. That website will be available starting on September 13.