Cochrane Seniors who are eligible to receive their immunizations against COVID-19 won't have to travel into the city for their shots.

The Cochrane RancheHouse has been announced as the local vaccination site.

Mayor Jeff Genung says that he's proud that the RancheHouse has been asked to participate as an AHS COVID-19 vaccination centre and help support the provincial vaccination rollout.

"I'm so happy we're able to play a part in having our residents locally find a place to get a vaccination shot and not having to travel to the city," says Genung. "On the other side of this, it's just been so nice to be able to announce something positive to do with COVID."

Genung says that Alberta Health Services spent several weeks looking for the optimal local vaccination site, and after touring the RancheHouse they ultimately decided that the facility checks all the boxes.

 "It works for parking, we have exits that allow people to come in one entrance and leave through another," says Genung. "Every health and safety precaution is being taken and the plan was approved by our Emergency Command Centre so it's just great news all around."

It's still unclear as to when the vaccination process will start at the RancheHouse. Genung says that town officials, like the rest of the province, are receiving information day-to-day. Alberta seniors 75 years and older became eligible to book vaccinations yesterday (February 24). 

Genung says that at this time, they haven't received any indication on whether the RancheHouse will be the official vaccination site in town once we enter different stages of the rollout. 

"I'm not sure what the long-term plan is," says Genung. "I'm sure as they roll out their next phases of the vaccination and give us an idea of what the next step would be, we'll come with those announcements."

Genung says that the vaccinations are expected to take place within a two to three-day window and won't disrupt regular operations at the RancheHouse.

While local vaccinations will take place at the RancheHouse, the bookings still need to take place through Alberta Health Services.

Genung says that another convenience for Cochranites is that there's a COLT stop at the RancheHouse for anyone needing transportation.