President Jason Kenney announced on Thursday that Albertans who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines can now start booking their second shot slots with immediate effect.
The move hastens the timeline for vaccination as outlined in the previous plan, which meant to open bookings for the second dose on Monday. This means that an extra 650,000 Albertans can now book their second dose quicker, according to Kenney, who also stated, “This is great news, for those who will be completely vaccinated sooner than they previously thought. At the same time, it is great news for everyone in the province who will benefit from widespread impunity. Every day we can get further ahead of schedule is another day closer to the end of the pandemic.”
Book your second dose now
If you want to book your second dose, you can make an appointment through the Alberta Health Services and at participating physician clinics and pharmacies.
Previously, those who have had the AstraZenca vaccine as their first dose were advised to keep at least an 8-week gap between their first and second doses. Now, the same people can choose to get their second dose of AstraZenca or can choose to get mRNa vaccines too.
Citizens of the province who received their first vaccine dose in May 2021 are scheduled to begin looking for their second dose by June 28th. The province authorities plan to continue to hasten the second dose administration once it has sufficient dose supply, it said in a press release. On Thursday, Alberta moved into Stage 2 of unlocking and took a step closer to a lockdown-free summer.
The easing of restrictions now allows restaurants with indoor dining to open for business. Casinos, malls, and movie theatres are allowed to open at 1/3rd capacity. Outdoor gatherings can be held provided there are less than 20 people attending at a time. The province has also lifted restrictions on adult and youth sports too.
The country aims to enter the third and final stage of easing lockdown restrictions within the next two weeks, once around 70% of Albertans (over 12 years of age) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Kenney stated that over 67.8% of Albertans have already received their first COVID vaccine dose, and Alberta is short 100,000 doses to enter Stage 3.
Kenney expects over 71,000 first dose appointments to be booked over the next week.
Incentives for vaccination
Premier Kenney said that Alberta Health Services is considering incentives which might include a lottery for those getting vaccinated. The plan will be finalized in the next emergency management cabinet committee meeting to be held next Monday. He added that younger men had shown less enthusiasm to get vaccinated as compared to the seniors.
There is a crucial need to bring in the youth for vaccination. This is one of the major reasons that the government is considering incentive plans to make youngsters make appointments and get their vaccination on time.
Alberta reportedly had 306 people hospitalized, including 81 in intensive care, as of Thursday, June 10th, 2021.