Albertans with underlying health conditions, as well as health-care workers such as physicians and nurses, are eligible to get their shot in Phases 2B and 2C of the government’s vaccine rollout plan.
More than 8,000 Albertans booked appointments through Alberta Health Services, with thousands more signing up for an appointment through pharmacies, as Phase 2A began Monday. This phase expands immunization eligibility to people born between 1947 and 1956, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis people born in 1971 or earlier.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said 437,000 people are eligible to receive a vaccine through Phase 2A. AHS bookings are being accepted by birth cohort, while pharmacy bookings are being accepted for anyone eligible.
“If AHS is not booking online for your birth year yet or if the pharmacies near you are full right now, please don’t worry. More appointments will be available in the coming days and weeks as more doses arrive. Everyone in Phase 2A will get their vaccine. No one will be left behind,” Hinshaw said.
In Phase 2B, which will begin after Phase 2A is complete, Albertans with severe underlying conditions will be eligible. This includes people with chronic heart, liver, lung or kidney disease. Albertans who have received a solid organ, bone marrow or stem cell transplant, have been diagnosed or teated for cancer in past year or have diabetes and requiring insulin or other medication to control will also be eligible.
“I know the first question that many people will ask is whether they need a doctor’s note or other proof of a certain condition. You will not. We will be operating on the honour system, which is the same approach being taken by Ontario and other provinces,” she said.
Phase 2C will include Alberta physicians, nurses, pharmacists, support staff and caregivers of Albertans with severe outcomes. Both phases 2B and 2C are expected to begin in April.
For more information on who will be eligible in Phases 2B and 2C, visit www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine.
On Monday, the Government of Alberta identified 364 new COVID-19 cases, including 65 new cases in variants of concern, and reported three new deaths in the province.
The City of Red Deer now has 105 active COVID-19 cases, according to geospatial mapping available on the provincial government’s website. That’s down 19 active cases since Friday’s report.
Over the weekend two new COVID-19-related deaths were reported in Red Deer. A total of 33 deaths in the city have now been attributed to the virus.
Alberta’s first confirmed cases of the P.1 variant, which was first detected in Brazil, were identified Sunday. Hinshaw said both confirmed cases of this variant are travel-related and were detected through the “aggressive screening processes” in place.
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
In that setting, Red Deer County has 15 active cases, Sylvan Lake has 13, Clearwater County has 32, Lacombe County has 31, the City of Lacombe has 25, Mountain View County has 18, Olds has nine and Stettler County has six.
In the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 47 active cases. Ponoka, including east Ponoka County, has 42 active.
Rimbey, including west Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County, has 23 active cases.
The Central zone has 460 active cases of the virus, while the Calgary zone has 1,779, the Edmonton zone has 1,160, the North zone has 818 and the South zone has 588. The locations of six active cases are currently unknown.
Provincially, 255 people are currently in hospital due to COVID-19 – 42 of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit. Twenty-five people have been hospitalized in the Central zone, with five of those individuals in an ICU.