Alberta officials reassure booking system for COVID-19 vaccinations will operate smoothly

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Alta. on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said the booking system used to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments will evolve and adjust as immunizations continue.

The comments come after several healthcare workers tell Global News that they were told they would receive a call to reschedule their second doses and never did.

READ MORE: Edmonton doctor says he was told he can’t book 2nd dose appointment for COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Wednesday that she cannot comment on specific operational details as to how AHS is managing the booking of appointments, but she said that disruptions to vaccine supply may have played a role.

Click to play video: 'Alberta slams federal rollout of COVID-19 vaccine and shipment uncertainty'
Alberta slams federal rollout of COVID-19 vaccine and shipment uncertainty

Hinshaw said not all appointments can be rebooked until supply is verified, which she said could explain why some healthcare workers did not receive a call back.

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The system that is currently being used for healthcare workers will eventually be rolled out to the general public, according to AHS.

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“We can expect that the system will have to adjust and ideally as we go forward, we won’t see these kinds of significant interruptions in our supply. But we will have to ask Albertans to make adjustments along with us,” Hinshaw said.

READ MORE: What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist

“The things we’re learning from this particular experience of course we will be applying into the processes used going forward so we can minimize the disruption to Albertans as we move into the next phases of our vaccination program.”

In a statement to Global News, AHS said it is staggering calls over a period of days.

READ MORE: Alberta trying to balance COVID-19 vaccine appointments with supply

“Healthcare workers who have not yet received a call to re-book will get a call in the next few days. They will then be able to re-book their second dose,” said spokesperson Kerry Williamson.

“We know this is frustrating, but due to the uncertainty around the vaccine supply from the federal government, we just aren’t able to meet demand right now.”


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