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Alberta announces COVID booster shots for people 18+

Last Updated Dec 1, 2021 at 7:22 pm MDT

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont., on March 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Third dose eligibility is being expanded to all Albertans over the age of 18.

Beginning Thursday, Albertans 60 and older can book their third dose appointment six months after receiving their second shot.

Vaccines will start being administered on Monday.

“We are offering third doses to older people first as we did with first and second doses because older people are at an increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19,” Health Minster Jason Copping said Wednesday.

“Current evidence suggests that vaccines give long-lasting protection against severe disease and hospitalization, but their effectiveness against infection can decrease over time.

The province will open bookings to additional age groups moving forward if there is supply.

Two More COVID-19 Omicron cases discovered

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says two more people tested positive for the variant of concern Omicron.

The first case was found in a returning traveller from South Africa and the Netherlands, and the second was detected in a household close contact.

Both individuals are isolating and showing only mild symptoms.

On Tuesday, Dr. Hinshaw announced the discovery of their first cases of Omicron in a returning traveller from Nigeria and the Netherlands.

RELATED: Alberta confirms case of Omicron variant

“We will identify travel-related cases going forward and this is the purpose of our measures; to prevent transmission risk from importation and slow any spread. ” Dr. Hinshaw said.

Alberta reported 430 new COVID-19 cases, with 424 people in the hospital, including 79 in the ICU.

It is important to note that these numbers are still very high, and current ICU COVID numbers are double the peak of ICU impact from an average influenza season,” Dr. Hinshaw said.

Seven more deaths were reported.