Alberta health minister to outline role of pharmacies in COVID-19 vaccine effort

CALGARY — Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro will provide an update Wednesday afternoon on vaccine distribution being done through community pharmacies.

Shandro is scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m.

His comments will be livestreamed on the CTV Calgary website.

Registration for vaccinations opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday for seniors born in 1946 and earlier, however the system crashed within minutes, leaving many frustrated.

Despite that, Alberta Health Services said more than 10,000 bookings had been made in the initial hours.

First Nations and Metis who are age 65 or older will also be eligible. Vaccines will be provided in two doses, given five to six weeks apart.

There will be 58 sites set up to deliver vaccinations, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Tuesday.

“Seniors must return to the same clinic to receive their second dose of the vaccine to ensure appropriate timing between doses and to help manage vaccine supply,” reads a post on the AHS website.

“Family members can book on behalf of those over 75 who are eligible to receive the vaccine. They will need the Alberta Health Care number and date of birth of the person being vaccinated and can make the appointment from a desktop computer or hand-held device.”

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said on Tuesday that pharmacies will be used in the coming weeks to deliver vaccinations. Plans are also underway to have vaccines delivered through doctor’s offices.

Logistical challenges involved, said Hinshaw, is special storage needs for the vaccines.

On Tuesday, Hinshaw said more than 180,000 Albertans have received vaccinations so far, including, 107,000 people who have reveived a first dose and 73,000 who have received the two doses required.

There are 326 people in hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 51 in ICU.

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