Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced on Wednesday, March 3 that Alberta will be extending the wait time between doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hinshaw said, "I am also announcing that Alberta is joining other provinces in adopting the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommendation to extend the period between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with a goal of providing first doses to all Albertans as soon as possible."
The province believes that the move is beneficial in providing the most protection to as many Albertans as possible. So, beginning March 10th anyone who books a first dose of the vaccine will have their second dose timeline extended to four months later.
Beginning March 10th, people who book vaccinations will only be able to book their first appointment and will be sent a reminder to book their second dose at a later date.
Dr. Hinshaw said that COVID-19 is constantly changing and Alberta is working hard to work with the most recent information on how the province deals with the virus.
Alberta's top doctor sighted the latest data on the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine saying, " We’ve seen research from other jurisdictions that indicate one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine offers a huge boost in immunity, with Canadian data indicating around 80% protection against infection after the first dose. Data from the UK just released this week show 70% effectiveness from a single dose of Pfizer that stayed at a stable level over several months. This change will significantly increase how quickly we can offer Albertans the protection of their first dose. The more people that we can offer this protection to in the coming weeks and months, the more effective we will be at stopping spread."
Dr. Hinshaw was quick to add that it is still important to receive the second dose and Albertans should do so in the new timeline.
Essentially, the province believes the more the better when it comes to getting everyone vaccinated.
Hinshaw also reported that more information will be coming with regards to the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine.