Health Minister Shandro announced during today’s COVID-19 update that bookings for Phase 2A of the immunization rollout will begin the week of March 15.

He said, "This means that more than 437,000 Albertans between the ages of 65 and 74 will soon be offered the vaccine."

Shandro also announced that adjustments have been made to reduce the wait time and frustrations when it comes time to book. The bookings will be staggered into two year age groups. So, starting Monday, March 15, people who are 73 and 74 will be able to book. Then on Tuesday, March 16, those who are 71 and 72 years of age will be able to book and so on. 

Bookings can be made through the online tool, participating pharmacies, and HealthLink.

First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people over the age of 50 will also receive a vaccination starting March 15.

The second announcement Minister Shandro made was in regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine that will begin roll-out on March 10 for Albertans between the age of 50 and 64 without any underlying health issues.

People who are in that age group will be able to choose if they want the AstraZeneca vaccine which is slightly less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Shandro emphasized, "Both Dr. Hinshaw and I recommend that all healthy Albertans get immunized as soon as they are eligible no matter what vaccine option is provided."

Dr. Hinshaw provided the COVID-19 numbers for Thursday, March 4.

  • There were 331 new cases reported with a positivity rate of 3.6%.
  • There are active alerts or outbreaks at 230 or 10% of schools in Alberta. 
  • There were 33 cases of the UK variant reported in the past 24 hours. 
  • There are 245 people in the hospital with 47 in ICU.
  • Nine additional deaths have been reported. 
  • To date, 266,231 doses of the vaccine have been administered and 89,786 Albertans are now fully immunized with two doses. 
  • Nakoda Emergency Management is reporting one new case of COVID-19 with three having recovered, and eleven active cases. 
  • Cochrane almost doubled its cases jumping from 17 to 30 in the past 24 hours. Rocky View County dropped two for a total of 23 active cases.