More than 3.2 million Albertans are now vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

More than 3.2 million Albertans are now vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

First vaccine doses reach 85%

More than 3.2 million Albertans are now vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to a release on Tuesday, more than 430,000 Albertans have received their first and second doses have been administered since Sept. 3. These numbers mean the province is quickly closing the gap on the national average of 87 per cent of eligible Canadians who have received their first dose as of Oct. 2. More than 250,000 Albertans have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since Sept 3.

“This is an important milestone in our effort to get as many Albertans vaccinated as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to get their vaccine, not just for themselves but to protect those around them as well. The more Albertans who do this, the more successful we will be at protecting lives and our health-care system,” says Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta.

All eligible Albertans are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to help prevent transmission and protect the health system.

“Albertans are showing they have the power to change the course of this pandemic by getting vaccinated. As neighbours, by working together we can protect our health-care system and each other,” says Jason Copping, Minister of Health. “Please, think of each other, get the information you need and get vaccinated today.”

Increasing hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions among unvaccinated Albertans are challenging the health system that all Albertans rely on.

While first doses provide strong protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19, second doses are needed to get the best and most long-lasting protection against the virus. More than 76 per cent of Albertans are now fully vaccinated with both doses.

“COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate and can affect people of all ages. That’s why it’s important that we all get vaccinated to get the best available protection from this virus. If you have received your first dose, always follow up with your second to get the most benefits from the vaccine,” says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

Bookings for first and second doses are available across Alberta, with first-dose walk-in clinics are available at multiple locations. Albertans can book appointments by visiting alberta.ca/vaccine.

Albertans aged 18 and older who receive a first or second dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine between Sept. 3 and Oct. 14 can register to receive a $100 prepaid debit card at alberta.ca/VaccineDebitCard.