Expanding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout
COVID-19 vaccines will soon be offered at community pharmacies, making it easier for seniors to get their dose as quickly as possible.
Starting Feb. 24, Albertans aged 75 and older will be able to book their vaccination appointment at more than 100 participating community pharmacies in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary. Appointments will start the first week of March. As more vaccine arrives, more participating pharmacies will begin to offer the vaccine. This is in addition to the online booking tool available to seniors through Alberta Health Services.
“Alberta’s community pharmacists continue to work tirelessly on the front lines, and we thank them for their efforts. Adding pharmacies to the vaccine rollout will allow us to continue ramping up our distribution program. As more vaccines become available, we will continue to expand our approach. We will keep administering vaccines as quickly and safely as possible.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
“The Alberta Pharmacists’ Association is very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Alberta Health towards the launch of this program. Community pharmacists are well prepared and ready to administer COVID-19 vaccine. As the vaccine supply increases in the province, we look forward to expanding the program to include all community pharmacists in pharmacies across the province. Alberta’s vaccinating pharmacists are committed to supporting the provincial efforts led by Alberta Health towards safe, efficient vaccination for all Albertans as quickly as possible.”
Margaret Wing, CEO, Alberta Pharmacists’ Association
Alberta Health has been working with the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association to develop a program for pharmacists to provide vaccine in their communities. Initially, the vaccine will be limited to participating pharmacies in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary. A list of participating pharmacies is available online at Alberta Blue Cross.
The number of pharmacies is limited due to vaccine supply and strict storage and handling requirements for the vaccine. As more vaccine becomes available, additional pharmacies will be able to participate in other communities.
Each participating pharmacy will adhere to strict protocols and has demonstrated experience with immunizations and the specialized skills needed to safely provide COVID-19 vaccines.
Alberta Health Services will continue to book vaccines for all other eligible Albertans. Seniors age 75 and older who cannot access a community pharmacy can still book their appointments through the online booking tool.
Since December 2020, Alberta has been distributing COVID-19 vaccine through a phased immunization program with the goal to immunize Albertans as safely and effectively as possible.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
Albertans are strongly encouraged to have both doses of vaccine provided at the same location. Any first doses booked at a community pharmacy will be followed by second doses at the same site.
Participating pharmacies were selected based on geographic and population needs, as well as their demonstrated ability to handle large volumes of vaccinations in short time frames.
Additional pharmacies are being contacted directly with an invitation to participate.
NDP Health Critic David Shepherd issued the following statement in response to the failure of the UCP to successfully launch their online vaccination booking system
“The failure of the online vaccination booking tool is a source of great distress for the thousands of Albertans who were unable to use it to protect themselves or their loved ones, as they were promised. Today(Feb.24), Tyler Shandro expressed his ‘disappointment’ that the launch of the booking tool did not go ‘ more smoothly.’ This is yet another evasion of responsibility from the Health Minister.
“Just a week ago, Premier Kenney boasted that his government was “ready to roll.” He said Alberta was ready to inoculate “more than one million people” a month. However their own website was not able to handle 150,000 people seeking to book appointments.
“Albertans remember that this plan was already late, lacking important details, and provided no roadmap to vaccination the broader public. Even with these delays, the Kenney government has failed to produce a functional booking system.
“Albertans have heard enough hollow boasting from Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro. The UCP government must fix their booking tool immediately.”