More seniors can prepare to book a COVID vaccine

·2 min read

As of next week, those aged 65 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Indigenous people ages 50 and up will also be able to book their vaccine appointments beginning March 15 as the province continues to expand its immunization rollout.

The shots will be administered by Alberta Health Services at locations the province has declined to disclose to Town & Country News.

Pharmacies will also offer shots but currently those are only in locations in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary, according to AHS. “Work is underway to significantly expand the list of pharmacies as more vaccine arrives,” said Tom McMillan, Alberta Health communications assistant director.

Chief medical officer Deena Hinshaw said Monday that an additional 156 pharmacies will begin participating next week. There are no further details.

In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccinations have been conducted at a number of AHS immunization clinics, said Sherene Khaw, provincial assistant communications director. “There are currently 67 active AHS immunization clinics, located in a mix of facilities across the province.

“People who are eligible are given the address of the clinic when they book their appointment.”

Steve Madden, Grande Spirit Foundation’s general manager, told the News in February immunizations have been provided at Grande Spirit facilities.

Public appointment bookings will be open by age group, by calling 811 or going to www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine.aspx.

On March 15, anyone born in 1947 can book an appointment.

On March 16, those born in 1948 will be able to book, and so on.

The bookings are available seven days a week; if a person misses the first day of eligibility to book an appointment, he or she can still call any time after, McMillan said.

As of March 10, the appointments for the two shots aren’t booked at the same time, Khaw said. The recipient will be contacted by AHS or the pharmacy when it’s time for the second dose, four months after the first.

Albertans aged 18 to 64 with high-risk underlying health conditions won’t become eligible until Phase 2A, which is expected to run April to June.

People aged 50 to 64 also have a shot at booking an appointment this week. Availability is dependent on supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine according to the Alberta government. It became available to anyone born in 1957 on March 10 and if the supply is available, to anyone born in 1958 today, in 1959 Friday, March 12, and so on. Bookings can be made at www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17295.aspx or by calling 811.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News