AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility drops to age 40
Starting April 20, Albertans aged 40 or over will be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Participating pharmacies and Alberta Health Services will begin booking appointments for AstraZeneca vaccinations for Albertans born in 1981 or earlier. Walk-in vaccinations will be available at the walk-in clinics in Edmonton and Calgary, as well as specific pharmacies across the province.
Lowering the eligibility age means 575,425 more Albertans can be vaccinated, bringing the total eligible population to 2.3 million.
“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. 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.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
Alberta’s decision to reduce the age of eligibility for AstraZeneca from 55 to 40 is based on public health recommendations looking at the benefit this vaccine offers weighed against the small risk of adverse events from this vaccine. AstraZeneca has been shown to reduce infection by 60-70 per cent, and severe outcomes like hospitalization by 80 per cent.
“I recommend any Albertan who is 40 or older consider getting the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as possible. 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. This vaccine helps prevent the much higher risks that come from COVID-19 infection, helping to protect both you and those around you.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health
As of April 17, more than 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered and there are more than 170,000 doses available.
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.