Province Expanding Eligibility For AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

The province is expanding eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Starting on Tuesday, Alberta Health Services and participating pharmacies will begin booking appointments for those who are 40 or older.

Previously, all vaccines were limited to those who were at least 55-years-old, worked in an essential field, or have an underlying health condition.

“With COVID-19 cases at high levels throughout the province, we are lowering the age eligibility for this vaccine so that as many Albertans as possible are able to choose the protection this vaccine offers,” said Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Health Minister.

“The more people that get vaccinated as quickly as possible, the sooner we can protect our communities, reduce the burden on our healthcare system, and get life back to normal in our province.”

Several countries have expressed concerns over the vaccine after multiple individual claimed to have found blood clots after receiving the shot.

Health professionals have argued against this with the province noting the small risk of any side-effects is outmatched by the vaccines overall benefits.

AstraZeneca has been shown to reduce infection by 60 to 70 per cent and severe outcomes by 80 per cent.

“I know some Albertans have concerns about recent cases of blood clots. This is understandable, and it is also important to remember that these cases are extremely rare,” added Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“This vaccine helps prevent the much higher risks that come from COVID-19 infection, helping to protect both you and those around you.”

There are currently 170,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine available in the province.

More than 575,000 Albertans are now eligible to receive one of these shots.

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