Airdrie residents now have local facilities to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Phase 2A of the Alberta government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout program kicked off on March 15. Under Phase 2A, Albertans born between the ages of 65 and 74 are eligible to book their first jabs, as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis residents born in 1971 or earlier.
Also on March 15, the Alberta government expanded the number of pharmacies that are now available to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Prior to that date, only pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer were offering appointments.
Now, a list of participating pharmacies province-wide is available on the Alberta Blue Cross’ website at bit.ly/3eMO2aY
Airdrie pharmacies offering the jabs include the Pharmasave on Centre Avenue, the Safeway pharmacy in Towerlane Centre and the Calgary Co-op pharmacy in Sierra Springs. Staff members and pharmacists from all three locations were unavailable for comment before press time, citing busyness.
“Customers in the area have been eager to get their vaccines and our appointment slots are filling up quickly,” stated an email from a Sobeys (Safeway) communications representative. “We are booked until May. However, we encourage people to continue to visit pharmacyappointments.ca for potential vacancies and future appointments as it is updated regularly, subject to availability.”
North of Airdrie, Crossfield’s Rockyview Pharmacy is also administering COVID-19 vaccinations under Phase 2A.
According to a government press release, those eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 2A are asked to use Alberta Health Services’ online booking tool or call 811 to help make sure the health authority does not run out of room for appointments. The health authority stated people are asked to book appointments for one person at a time.
“If the wait time is long when you call or go online to book, or you receive a busy signal through the 811 booking system, please visit later in the day,” the release stated. “There are minimal waits in off times – after 5 p.m. and before 7 a.m.”
Another government press release on March 16 stated more than 17,000 eligible Albertans in Phase 2A had booked their vaccine appointments by 10 a.m. that morning.
After a slow start to its COVID-19 vaccination rollout program due to supply shortages in January and February, Alberta is continuing to expand its number of immunizations. As of March 15, more than 368,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered across the province, according to government figures, and more than 91,000 Albertans have been fully immunized with both doses of vaccine.
According to the email from Sobeys, pharmacists around Alberta are excited to be taking part and assisting in the Province's vaccine rollout program.
“This is a pioneering effort – a first in Canada, and I can tell you our pharmacy teammates are really enthusiastic about it,” the email stated. “We are so proud to be part of this massive provincial effort and are excited to continue to support this initiative.”
For information on the vaccine rollout and how to book an appointment, visit ahs.ca/covidvaccine