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Any Albertan 12 and older eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday

Last Updated May 5, 2021 at 8:50 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – As part of Phase 3 of the vaccine rollout plan, any Albertan 12 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday.

With the change, 3.8 million Albertans will now be eligible for the jab.

Alberta Health Services (AHS), says to avoid overwhelming the booking system appointments will be staggered in two different age groups.

RELATED: Health Canada approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 12-15

Starting on May 6, anyone born in 1991 or earlier can book an appointment then on May 10, anyone born in 2009 or earlier will be able to book their shot.

Premier Jason Kenney says there is finally enough supply to go around to make the change happen.

“This is a very exciting day for Alberta and it arrives right when we need it the most. We are battling an extremely aggressive third wave of COVID-19 and we know that vaccines are our best weapon against it. By opening bookings to everybody over 12 years of age, we are taking a huge step towards stopping the spike and hopefully putting this pandemic behind us for good,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

“We vowed to protect those who were most at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 first. We’ve done just that, and now, happily, we can move to protect the general population, starting with those age 30 and older,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “We are ahead of schedule and delivering on our promise to provide at least one dose to every adult Albertan who wants one by June 30. Now that we have gotten to this point, every Albertan can help drive cases down by getting vaccinated.”

Alberta will be the only province outside of the Northern Territories to roll out the vaccines so widely.

Kenney expects to complete Phase 3 by the end of June but is hoping the completion is sooner.

This comes as the province announced tougher health restrictions Tuesday that include the closures of restaurants and patios, nail and hair salons, limitations social gatherings and the movement to online learning for K-6 students.

READ MORE: All Alberta schools to go online, retail capacity reduced, restaurants back to take-out only

Shandro says the new measures announced are tough but are necessary.

As vaccinations go up, the premier hopes hospitalizations will decrease, however, there is still the issue of variants. The premier says “some evidence” shows that the vaccines are less effective against some of the variants.

More than 1.66 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in the province.