A walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic for AstraZeneca will open in Red Deer Wednesday.
Premier Jason Kenney made the announcement Tuesday while outlining the progress of the province in the fight against COVID-19.
“Despite delays and disappointments, our rollout keeps gaining steam,” Kenney said.
The clinic, at Westerner Park, is similar to clinics that opened in Calgary and Edmonton on Saturday.
Kenney noted that more than 27,000 bookings were made Tuesday as the province expanded AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone over the age of 40.
With that age group opening up, Alberta Health Services said 1,271 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine appointments were made in Red Deer Tuesday at the AHS immunization clinic.
At that site, 9,241 COVID-19 vaccine appointments have been booked in April.
Kenney added 67,900 appointments were booked over the next 10 days Alberta wide and that the province only has 160,000 AstraZeneca doses left.
The premier also noted that one in four Albertans over the age of 16 have now received the first dose and nearly 1.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta so far.
The announcement came as the province reported an additional 1,345 cases of COVID-19. There are 18,481 active cases of the virus in the province, with 476 people in hospital, including 105 in intensive care.
Alberta completed about 13,000 COVID-19 tests for a positivity rate of about 10.4 per cent.
There were 816 variant of concern cases reported Tuesday and variants now make up 56.9 per cent of the province’s active cases.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw explained that the B.1.1.7 variant (UK) is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Alberta.
“Transmission is much easier and can happen faster than ever before,” she said.
She added that the province is also seeing more cases of the P.1 variant (Brazil).
Kenney added that the province isn’t planning on adding more restrictions but he has had discussions with B.C. Premier John Horgan about his move to limit border traffic between B.C. and Alberta.
“I think British Columbia has a very good point, this is not the time for non-essential travel. We have seen a number of the very contagious P.1 Brazilian variant cases come to Alberta, from British Columbia,” he said.
“My understanding is it’s not an absolute closure of the border that we see between Ontario and Quebec, but a very strong advisory and we respect that. We don’t plan on taking any additional measures at this point.”
Kenney added they would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread.
After a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases over the weekend, Red Deer added 12 more cases Tuesday and now sits at 483 active cases of the virus.
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 126 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 73 active and Clearwater County sits at 31 active.
Lacombe has 90 active and Sylvan Lake has 55 active cases, while Olds sits at 74 active. Mountain View County sits at 83 active, Kneehill County has 39 active and Drumheller has 29 active.
Camrose County sits at 84 active cases and the County of Stettler has 16.
Camrose is at 136 active cases and Wetaskiwin has 141 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 249 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 107 active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has 19 active.