More than 158K COVID-19 vaccine appointments booked through AHS Thursday

Alberta Health Services saw the highest number of COVID-19 vaccine appointments booked on a single day since the online booking tool launched.

On Thursday, when the province expanded second-dose eligibility to anyone who received their first dose in April, 158,092 appointments were booked through AHS.

Most of those bookings — 154,604 of them — were for second doses.

These numbers only account for appointments booked through AHS and do not include bookings at participating pharmacies or doctors’ offices.

Read more: Albertans who received 1st COVID-19 vaccine in April or earlier can book 2nd dose

Continued uptake of first dose immunization is required for Alberta’s “Open For Summer” plan. The premier has said at least 70 per cent of eligible Albertans must get a first dose before Alberta can move into Stage 3, where most of the public health restrictions are lifted.

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Over the last several days, the first-dose uptake has slowed. Currently, the percentage of eligible Albertans who’ve received a first dose sits at 67.8 per cent.

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s top doctor issues plea for those eligible to get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose' Alberta’s top doctor issues plea for those eligible to get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose

Alberta’s top doctor issues plea for those eligible to get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose

“First dose demand is slowing,” Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday. “The full opening of our province is in the hands of Albertans.”

Read more: Sluggish vaccine demand could put Alberta’s 3rd stage of reopening in jeopardy: Kenney

“If you haven’t got your first dose yet, please do,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw added. “We need you to… Every dose matters.”

Read more: Doctor says Alberta needs to get creative, bring vaccine to people to boost 1st dose uptake

As of June 9, Alberta had administered 215,144 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 634,774 Albertans have been fully immunized with two doses.

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Daily COVID-19 numbers

On Friday, Alberta Health confirmed 170 new cases of COVID-19 out of about 6,682 tests. Alberta’s positivity rate sat at about 2.8 per cent.

There were 296 people in hospital with the virus, 79 of whom were in ICU.

Three additional deaths were reported to Alberta Health in the last 24 hours. All three included comorbidities. A woman in her 60s from the Edmonton zone passed away, along with two men from the Calgary zone — one was in his 60s and one was in his 80s.

Read more: 10 COVID-19 Delta cases linked to Foothills outbreaks were fully vaccinated: Hinshaw

Stage 2 and beyond

Alberta officially entered Stage 2 of its “Open For Summer” plan on Thursday, allowing gyms and movie theatres to reopen and permitting indoor dining as well as on patios. Capacity limits for retail and worship gatherings were also eased.

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s ‘Open for Summer’ Stage 2 sees gyms and movie theatres reopen, restaurants resume indoor dining' Alberta’s ‘Open for Summer’ Stage 2 sees gyms and movie theatres reopen, restaurants resume indoor dining

Alberta’s ‘Open for Summer’ Stage 2 sees gyms and movie theatres reopen, restaurants resume indoor dining

In a message on Twitter Friday, AHS said it and the Red Cross would start decommissioning the Butterdome pandemic response unit on the university campus. The teardown will take two weeks.

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Read more: Butterdome field hospital almost ready as Alberta COVID-19 hospitalizations reach 921

It was set up in January 2021 to offer contingency bed capacity during the pandemic, if needed. It was never used, AHS said.

Work to set up an Alternate Care Centre (ACC) at the Butterdome on the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton, Alta. Courtesy, Canadian Red Cross

The equipment and furniture will be moved to the new pandemic response unit at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic.

There are no plans to use this site, AHS said, but it will be ready if needed, as of June 16.

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