Albertans who got their first COVID-19 vaccine in April or earlier can now book their second shot.

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Albertans who got their first COVID-19 vaccine in April or earlier can now book their second shot.
Premier Jason Kenney announced at a Thursday news conference the province is speeding up the rollout of second vaccine doses. About 650,000 Albertans are eligible immediately to book their second jab through Alberta Health Services or pharmacies.
This is great news, not just for those who will be fully vaccinated sooner than they thought, but for everyone in the province who will benefit from widespread immunity, Kenney said.
Everyone who wants to get a second dose will be able to get one in the next few weeks.
Previously it was announced this group could start booking Monday, and those vaccinated in May could book the second appointment June 28. But Kenney said if supply allowed the timeline could be moved up.
Alberta is also considering incentives to get the number of first doses up, Kenney said.
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I asked the Department of Health to come forward with options on incentives, including the possible lottery for people getting vaccinated, and work is ongoing, he said.
I know that when Ohio led the pack on this about three, four weeks back, there was a lot of ridicule directed towards them, but they saw an immediate and huge uptick in vaccination rates.
Any future lottery would include everyone who has already had their first dose, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, so theres no need to wait until its announced to get one.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro said while second doses are being offered, first dose appointments are still available.
In fact, there are about 71,000 scheduled over the next week, he said. I just want to take a minute to remind anybody who hasnt booked their first dose yet you can still do it. We still need you to do it.
Alberta entered Stage 2 of the summer reopening plan Thursday.
As of June 10, indoor entertainment and recreation can open with some attendance caps and restrictions, and restaurants can seat parties with up to six people both indoors and outdoors, and the outdoor gathering cap will increase to 20 people with distancing still in effect.
This phase was to be triggered two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans 12 and up had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and hospitalizations were below 500 and declining.
178 new cases
Alberta has another 178 cases of COVID-19, Hinshaw said at the news conference. After 5,501 tests, this puts the test positivity rate at about 3.3 per cent, she said.
This encouraging trend is important to maintain, which is why as we move into Stage 2 today, it remains critical for all of us to follow all of the public health measures that are currently in place, she said.
We can ease restrictions now only thanks to the combination of vaccine protection, and the hard work and sacrifices of Albertans over the past many months.
Six more people have died from the disease in the province.
More to come
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