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Interactive map breaks down COVID-19 vaccination rate by Alberta community

Click to play video: 'Alberta could cross 50% first-dose vaccination threshold soon' Alberta could cross 50% first-dose vaccination threshold soon
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province could soon surpass the 50 per cent threshold for eligible Albertans receiving the first-dose of COVID-19 vaccine. – May 17, 2021

Are you curious about how many people in your neighbourhood have been vaccinated against COVID-19? The Alberta government has launched an interactive online map that showcases just that.

Read more: ‘Great Alberta summer’: Kenney says reopening plan for Alberta in the works

The new online map, launched Monday, breaks down vaccine coverage by Alberta Health Services’ local geographic area.

Albertans now have access to the percentage of people who have received at least one dose, the percentage of people who are fully immunized and the total number of doses that have been administered in any AHS region across the province, broken down by age group.

Click to play video: 'Interactive map breaks down COVID-19 vaccination rate by Alberta community' Interactive map breaks down COVID-19 vaccination rate by Alberta community
Interactive map breaks down COVID-19 vaccination rate by Alberta community – May 18, 2021

The map is part of the province’s commitment to provide “robust information to Albertans related to COVID-19 in our province.”

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“This map is a helpful tool for Albertans, and reflects our government’s commitment to transparency,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a news release Monday.

“Since the start of this pandemic, Alberta has consistently provided more online information to Albertans than any other jurisdiction because we know that being informed helps us all to be part of the solution.”

Click to play video: 'Alberta to use immunization rates and COVID-19 case rates to plan reopening' Alberta to use immunization rates and COVID-19 case rates to plan reopening
Alberta to use immunization rates and COVID-19 case rates to plan reopening – May 18, 2021

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said with the province’s vaccine rollout gaining momentum, tracking vaccine uptake within communities will help people support each other to be protected.

“As we move closer toward widespread immunity, we hope this will motivate individuals and communities to do the right thing for themselves, for each other and for our health system,” Shandro said in a news release.

While the data will change daily, here is a breakdown of the percentage of people who have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton’s neighbourhoods as of May 16:

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  • Edmonton – Twin Brooks: 56.2%
  • Edmonton – Bonnie Doon: 52.6%
  • Edmonton – West Jasper Place: 50.2%
  • Edmonton – Woodcroft West: 47.5%
  • Edmonton – Duggan: 47.4%
  • Edmonton – Woodcroft East: 44.7%
  • Edmonton – Castle Downs: 42.8%
  • Edmonton – Jasper Place: 42.7%
  • Edmonton – Northgate: 42.4%
  • Edmonton – Mill Woods West: 41.9%
  • Edmonton – Eastwood: 41.6%
  • Edmonton – Mill Woods South & East: 40.6%
  • Edmonton – Rutherford: 40%
  • Edmonton – Northeast: 38.6%
  • Edmonton – Abbotsfield: 37.1%

Charlene Vu is the pharmacy manager at an I.D.A. Pharmacy in Abbotsfield, where vaccination rates were lower than all other Edmonton regions as of May 16.

“It does concern me,” Vu said, adding she does what she can to speak to clients and educate them on vaccine safety.

“Every day, whoever comes through our pharmacy, we advise them to get vaccinated as soon as they can,” she said.

“We have done our best to vaccinate as many people as we can… I try to approach my patients to advise them to vaccinate so that we can get back to our normal life. And, to tell you the truth, 99 per cent that I approach, they agree to do it. Even right on the spot.”

Click to play video: 'Hinshaw explains the importance of high vaccination rate in fighting COVID-19' Hinshaw explains the importance of high vaccination rate in fighting COVID-19
Hinshaw explains the importance of high vaccination rate in fighting COVID-19 – May 18, 2021

Areas of note surrounding Edmonton include Sherwood Park with 53.1 per cent of people immunized with one dose, St. Albert with 56 per cent, Beaumont with 42 per cent, and Leduc and Devon with 40.4 per cent, as of May 16.

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Read more: COVID-19 outreach program begins in Edmonton areas hit hard by coronavirus

Here’s a look at the breakdown of the percentage of the population with one dose of vaccine by neighbourhood in Calgary as of May 16:

  • Calgary – Elbow: 53.3%
  • Calgary – Lower Northwest: 51.6%
  • Calgary – Centre North: 51.3%
  • Calgary – West: 50%
  • Calgary – Centre West: 49.3%
  • Calgary – Fish Creek: 48.3%
  • Calgary – West Bow: 46.7%
  • Calgary – Upper Northwest: 46.5%
  • Calgary – Nosehill: 45%
  • Calgary – Southwest: 43.6%
  • Calgary – Centre: 43%
  • Calgary – North: 41%
  • Calgary – Southeast: 40.2%
  • Calgary – Lower Northeast: 35.5%
  • Calgary – East: 34.9%
  • Calgary – Upper Northeast: 31.9%

Areas of note surrounding Calgary include Canmore at 45.7 per cent of the population having received one dose of vaccine, Banff at 42.9 per cent and Airdrie at 33.9 per cent as of May 16.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi noted the variable uptake in different regions of the city. He said while the province hasn’t made any firm decisions on pop-up vaccine clinics, he believes they would be beneficial.

“If we can find ways to do pop-ups to make it more convenient for people, I believe we should do that. And we’re just waiting on some guidance from the province on what that will look like,” Nenshi said.

“I think it’s shift work more than anything else. You know, for a lot of folks, you’ll take the appointment whenever you get it and you can afford to take a couple of hours off work and just go get it done. And although we do have a policy that allows you to get time off work to get your vaccination, it’s not always practical or easy to do that if you’re running your own business or if you’re the only one at the counter at the store, you can’t always just say, ‘I gotta go for three hours and get my vaccine.’ So it’s about going to people where they live and making it easy for them.”

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Read more: 50% of eligible Albertans have 1st COVID-19 vaccine dose; concerns about school return remain

On May 13, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said pop-up vaccination clinics are being considered, but a number of factors have to be considered.

On Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said health officials are working with local community leaders in areas where case rates are high and vaccination uptake is lower, to ensure vaccines are being offered in ways that are the most effective for their regions.

“We are looking at a province-wide approach to making sure that those areas with high cases and low immunization coverage, that we’re looking at what the barriers are and then looking at ways to most effectively address those barriers,” Hinshaw said.

“That’s something that we have been looking at and wanting to make sure that both the questions about physical barriers — such as logistics and hours of clinics, those kind of things — as well as information provision, trusted providers partnering with local community leaders.

“We have been working for many months with local community leaders in many areas to support information provision and now we’re just having the discussions about the potential next steps for the areas in the province, again, that have those two metrics of concern with high rates and low uptake.”

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Read more: Alberta surpasses 2M COVID-19 vaccine doses administered as 1,558 new cases identified Thursday

Lethbridge is broken down as follows for those with one dose of vaccine as of May 16:

  • Lethbridge – South: 54.4%
  • Lethbridge – West: 51%
  • Lethbridge – North: 49%

Red Deer is broken down as follows for those with one dose of vaccine as of May 16:

  • Red Deer – East: 45.4%
  • Red Deer – Southwest: 39.2%
  • Red Deer – North: 37.9%
  • Red Deer County – 33.1%

Regions in northern Alberta include 24.2 per cent of people in Wood Buffalo having one dose as of May 16, 9.8 per cent of people in the High Level region, 28.5 per cent of people in Grande Prairie County and 37.9 per cent of people in the Jasper region.

Kirsten Fiest, an epidemiology professor at the University of Calgary, said bringing vaccines to people in neighbourhoods with lower uptake should be a priority as soon as possible.

“We need to be taking the vaccines to people yesterday. We need to be out there making it as easy as possible for people to get the vaccine,” Fiest said Tuesday morning.

“We need to reduce disparities and access to vaccinations by going to neighbourhoods where people are not being vaccinated as much and bringing the vaccine to them as opposed to waiting for them to come to the vaccines.

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“We need to be going to them and ensuring that those highly vulnerable people, those people working on the frontlines, essential workers are protected from COVID.”

Read more: 3rd COVID-19 wave bringing ‘the most ICU patients that we’ve ever seen in our health-care system:’ Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan said now that vaccines are available to all Albertans 12 and older, the government is working on a strategy to help specific groups and areas access vaccines.

“This may include targeting areas where there is currently low coverage and where people may have challenges accessing currently available options,” McMillan said in a statement to Global News.

“So far, we’ve prioritized making sure that vaccines are readily accessible and available to all Albertans. This includes utilizing more than 1,300 pharmacies, AHS clinics in all regions and some physician offices.”

McMillan also pointed to temporary vaccine clinics that were used to vaccinate people working at meatpacking plants and Alberta work camps, where groups were “uniquely at risk of severe outbreaks.”

Read more: ‘A cautious relief:’ COVID-19 vaccinations to begin at two Alberta meat plants

As of Tuesday, more than 50 per cent of Albertans 12 and older have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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“This is a significant feat and something that we should all be proud of. It is further proof that we are getting closer to the end and that things are getting better,” Hinshaw said.

Click to play video: 'Over half of eligible Albertans have received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine' Over half of eligible Albertans have received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Over half of eligible Albertans have received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine – May 18, 2021

So far, more than 2.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta.

All Albertans age 12 and older are eligible to book an appointment to be vaccinated. More information on how to book an appointment can be found on the Alberta Health Services website.

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