Albertans who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in March were eligible to book their second dose Tuesday and more than 120,000 people did.
Alberta Health didn’t have specific numbers for booking on Wednesday, but said “thousands more” appointments were booked by 2 p.m.
Norm Fassbender is one of the Albertans who received his second dose on Tuesday. He said there were thousands of people in the Alberta Health Services line, so he called his local pharmacy.
“He said, ‘Yeah Norm, come on by.’ So we went down and 20 minutes later — done.”
He said it’s been an emotional year and he can’t wait to hug people again.
“The pain of all this social distancing and all this masking and saying, ‘Hi friend, don’t touch me.’ It kind of dissipated.”
Kathy and Graham Reid booked their second dose and will be going next week on their 38th wedding anniversary.
“The first dose was a relief, the second dose is going to be a much bigger sense of relief. It’s also waiting the weeks after the dose to make sure it’s fully effective,” Graham said.
“It’s just a big weight off our shoulders.”
The two haven’t seen their grandson since March 26, 2020 and are looking forward to reuniting with family.
“I want to see friends, to hug my son,” Kathy said.
“I haven’t hugged my son in 18 months.”
On Tuesday, Alberta announced its plan to roll out second doses across the province.
Anyone who received their first dose in March is eligible to book their second dose now. On June 14, people who received their first dose in April can book dose two and those who received their first dose in May can book their second starting June 28.
“If there are no unexpected delays to shipments, we expect most everyone awaiting their second dose should have it by the end of summer,” Kenney said Tuesday.
Ghada Haggag owns All Care Pharmacy in northeast Edmonton. She said the phones started ringing Tuesday about three minutes after the premier started talking.
“Everybody’s so excited, even us as pharmacists,” he said. “Very soon we are going to celebrate together, ending this pandemic, if everybody is just getting their second dose, getting fully protected. We are looking forward to moving to Phase 2 and Phase 3.”
She says her pharmacy is getting consistent shipments of the Pfizer vaccine every week. Appointments are full of joy with people wanting to take photos and video so they can share the news with their family and friends.
“We are so happy we can do something, we can help.”
A spokesperson for Alberta Health said the ministry had not heard of any widespread concerns or issues in the booking systems.
As of Wednesday, 2,841,779 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta. Those who haven’t received their first shot yet can still book an appointment online, through a participating pharmacy or by calling 811.
Wednesday COVID-19 numbers
Alberta confirmed an additional 410 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total of active cases to 6,305.
There were 8,315 tests completed and the province had a positivity rate of about five per cent.
There were 435 people in hospital with COVID-19, with 122 of those receiving care in the ICU.
Four additional deaths were reported to Alberta Health over the last 24 hours. A man in his 70s from the Edmonton zone, a man in his 60s from the Calgary Zone and a man in his 50s from the Central zone have all died. Those three cases included comorbidities. A woman in her 50s from the North zone with no known comorbidities has also died.
A death previously reported to be linked to COVID-19 has been ruled to have been from a different cause and has been removed from the provincial total.
Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll now sits at 2,231.
As of Wednesday, there were 2,583 active cases of COVID-19 in the Calgary zone and 1,647 active cases in the Edmonton zone. There were 788 active cases in the Central zone, 403 active cases were reported in the South zone and there were 883 active cases in the North zone.
There was one case not affiliated with any specific zone.
To date, 228,128 Albertans have had COVID-19 and 219,592 have recovered.View link »