'Alberta boomers, step aside': Gen-Xers rally on social media as AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility expands

·2 min read
Kalvin Clauer, 40, gives a thumbs up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the Edmonton Expo Centre mass-immunization site on Tuesday.  (AHS - image credit)
Kalvin Clauer, 40, gives a thumbs up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the Edmonton Expo Centre mass-immunization site on Tuesday. (AHS - image credit)
Kalvin Clauer, 40, gives a thumbs up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the Edmonton Expo Centre mass-immunization site on Tuesday.
Kalvin Clauer, 40, gives a thumbs up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the Edmonton Expo Centre mass-immunization site on Tuesday. (AHS)

When eligibility for the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine expanded to include Albertans 40 and over on Tuesday, the so-called "slacker generation" took just 24 hours to demolish the legitimacy of its nickname.

Gen-Xers rushed to mass vaccination sites in Calgary and Edmonton like it was the opening of a John Hughes movie. Or a Nirvana concert. Or Blockbuster on a Friday night.

In fact, Alberta Health Services said more appointments were made for the shot in the span of 2½ hours on Tuesday than all of last week — a meteoric rise for the vaccine that previously generated lower uptake among those 55 and over.

And a lot of newly eligible Albertans took to Twitter to rally, celebrate the hallmarks of their generation and take a couple of swipes at boomers who seemingly chose to forgo the shot.

During the first hours of booking Tuesday, about 6,500 appointments were made in the Edmonton health zone and another 15,000 were booked in the Calgary zone.

And by just 10:30 a.m., more than 27,000 people had booked appointments.

"For context, 4,525 people received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Edmonton, and 5,559 people received AstraZeneca in Calgary between April 12 and April 18," AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson told CBC Edmonton on Tuesday.

In spite of the rush for bookings, the demographic was seemingly undeterred by longer wait times on the phone and in line.

"Yes I am PUMPED for the inevitable booking frenzy alongside fellow gen-Xers who spent 20 yrs booking U2 tickets online to train for this," one Calgarian tweeted.

"Slacker generation?" Not anymore.

"Forgotten generation"? Not today.

"Today we're the 'I believe the science generation,'" Spruce Grove Coun. Erin Stevenson tweeted.