Anyone 75 and older can get COVID-19 vaccine; 34 active cases in Fort McMurray

·2 min read

All Albertans who are 75 and older can book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting tomorrow.

In her Tuesday update, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta Health has increased staffing at Health Link to prepare for the large wave of expected appointment bookings.

“This is a massive expansion for our province and big step forward,” said Hinshaw. “However, unlike our yearly influenza campaigns, we do not have large stockpiles of the vaccines ready to go province-wide.”

Anyone at least 75 and living in a licensed supportive living facility do not need to book a vaccine appointment as Alberta Health Services (AHS) is already arranging appointments. All immunizations are being administered through appointment only. There will be no walk-in opportunities.

Vaccine appointments will be booked daily between 8:20 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. Hours will be extended as more vaccines arrive in Alberta.

“For many folks, I know it will feel like you have been waiting a very long time for the vaccine and you are keen to get a first dose as soon as possible,” said Hinshaw. “For those who try to book after all initial appointments have been filled up, remember that new appointments will be made available as more vaccine arrives.”

With the doses the province is expected to receive, Hinshaw said all seniors who want a vaccine can receive their first dose by the end of March. Each vaccine site is operated by trained medical professionals with appropriate personal protective equipment. Physical distancing and other measures are in place to limit exposure.

For seniors with no transportation to vaccine sites, Hinshaw asked family and friends to help. Seniors can also call 211 for help.

“It will take time to immunize all our eligible seniors and there will likely be a few hiccups along the way as we continue expanding,” said Hinshaw. “By continuing to vaccinate those at greatest risk of severe outcomes, we are protecting thousands of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, neighbours, friends and community members who are most vulnerable to this virus.”

Information on how to book a vaccine can be found here.

Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today