Alberta expands access to second COVID-19 booster shots to all adults

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Alberta is expanding access to second booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the province announced Tuesday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Alberta is expanding access to second booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the province announced Tuesday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

All adult Albertans will soon have the choice to roll up their sleeves for a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Alberta is expanding access to second booster doses, the province announced Tuesday.

Starting Wednesday, Albertans 18 years of age and older can book appointments for a second booster dose of mRNA vaccine, five or more months after receiving their first booster dose.

Albertans can book online by using the Alberta vaccine booking system or by calling 811. Walk-in appointments will be also be available at select pharmacies, the province said in a news release.

Albertans who have received one dose of the Janssen vaccine at least two months ago are also eligible for a booster dose.

Due to limited supply, however, Janssen appointments can only be booked by calling 811.

Expanding the availability of booster doses will give at-risk Albertans more choices about increasing their protection during a period of increased community transmission, Health Minister Jason Copping said in a statement.

Hospitalization numbers have been dropping but transmission remains high.

The Omicron subvariant BA.5,  the dominant strain in the province, is fuelling a summer surge in cases across the country.

"As we continue to live with COVID, vaccines remain critical to lowering your risk of severe outcomes and protecting our health-care system," Copping said.

"Albertans are encouraged to continue to get their first booster and to consider their unique circumstances when making choices about second booster."

Albertans should wait at least three months after a COVID-19 infection before getting a booster dose, the province noted.

Previously, access to fourth doses in Alberta was restricted to select groups, including seniors over 70 or seniors living in congregate care, First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, and Albertans with certain immunocompromising health conditions.

More than 8.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Alberta.

The death toll in the province from the disease is 4,632.

As of July 13, there were 552 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 16 patients in intensive care.

As of last week's update, Alberta's PCR positivity rate average for the past seven days was 18.31 per cent.

The province reported 1,361 new cases of COVID-19 over the week up to July 11, though that number only includes those who test positive on a PCR test, not results from rapid tests.

 

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