The provincial COVID-19 vaccination program continues to roll out, and local elected officials are leading the way by rolling up their sleeves.
Both Battle River-Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek and Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely recently received their first COVID-19 doses.
“Like many Canadians, I have been waiting patiently for the eligibility to get my jab,” said Kurek in a press release.
“As soon as that was expanded by the Government of Alberta, I signed up.”
Kurek received his dose at a Guardian Pharmacy.
Kurek acknowledged all the healthcare and frontline workers in Alberta and Canada that have been “working so diligently” over the course of the pandemic.
“While vaccines are not, nor should they be, mandatory, they are an important tool that will help Canada move forward and get back to normal,” he said.
“Although vaccine procurement and availability have faced frustrating delays and setbacks, it is encouraging that provincial resources are ready to get shots administered as they become available.”
Kurek added that although it may be difficult to be optimistic with all the challenges we are facing, we can look forward to the future because of the resilience of Canadians.
Kurek says he felt it was important to share his vaccine story to help address some of the hesitancy that exists.
“With recent expansions in vaccine eligibility, I encourage everyone who is willing to sign up and push back against COVID,” he said.
Lovely says while she chose to be vaccinated, she played a key role in working on Bill 66 to remove mandatory vaccinations in the province.
“I recently had my COVID-19 vaccination at the Camrose Community Health Centre and wanted to share my experience for those who are considering getting the shot,” said Lovely.
Lovely noted appointments can be booked online at www.alberta.ca/vaccine. You can also call 811 to book your appointment.
“When I arrived for my appointment, I was greeted at the door with a friendly smile and asked to show my identification,” she said.
“I waited only a couple of minutes and was then brought into another room where I was given the vaccine. To be honest with you, I have had mosquito bites that hurt more.”
Lovely stated that she experienced flu-like symptoms and the day afer her vaccination, but those lessened by the evening and soreness in her arm was gone after a couple of days.
“There has been a great response from our constituency from those who wish to receive the vaccine to the point where pharmacies have contacted my office to advise they have run out of supply,” said Lovely.
“We have been working closely with AHS to ensure we receive more supply and I have been advised vaccines are on the way.”
AHS is providing immunization for those who are home-bound, says Lovely. AHS will reach out to eligible home care clients directly in the coming weeks. They do not need to book an appointment.
Several locations in Camrose County are offering COVID-19 vaccinations.
To check which pharmacies are offering the vaccines near you, visit www.ab.bluecross.ca and click on the link to participating pharmacies.
All Albertans aged 12 years and older can now book an appointment to receive a vaccine.
Over 1,300 pharmacies across the province are currently providing COVID-19 immunizations with either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
AstraZeneca vaccine is not being offered for first doses at this time due to a limited supply.
As of May 12, 2,019,713 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered, with 322 adverse events.
More information on Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine program can be found at alberta.ca.