Alberta opened reservations March 10. So on June 2 – next Wednesday – it will be 12 weeks since some Albertans received their first injection.
John Chwyl got the first date he could find.
“It was something I had to do to stay healthy, healthy and alive.
“So I very gladly received the first vaccination,” he said.
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Since then, controversy has revolved around the AstraZeneca vaccine, particularly concerns about rare blood clots, changing guidelines for its use, and supply issues.
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Chwyl said everything made him anxious about his second dose.
“I want to be fully vaccinated because, from what I understand, when I am fully vaccinated, I am at the maximum of my protection,” he said.
Then there was talk of mixing and matching the second doses, but at the end of last week the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said there was not enough scientific data to support this. and recommended receiving the same vaccine for the second vaccine.
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Knowing he was quickly approaching 12 weeks since his first dose, Chwyl called to try and book his second, but was told he couldn’t and had to wait.
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He is not alone. Another Edmontonian, who asked to remain anonymous, sent Global News a voicemail message he received from HealthLink, after calling to inquire about his second dose of AstraZeneca.
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He said, “Looking for your second dose of AstraZeneca, we apparently have appointments in the Edmonton area, if you could call us back on 811.”
But when the man called to make the reservation, he said he was told the policy had changed and he too would have to wait.
A screenshot from the Alberta Health Services website also shows that at one point last week it asked people to call 811 to reserve a second dose, but that has since been deleted. .
For Chwyl, the message is confusing.
“I understand this is a constantly evolving process, it’s brand new to all of us. But what I don’t understand is the day-to-day inconsistency. We’re here, then we’re here, then we’re back. It is mind boggling.
But a University of Calgary infectious disease researcher Dr Craig Jenne said people didn’t need to worry just yet.
“The clinical studies of AstraZeneca, which were a bit different from the two mRNA vaccines, actually showed better protection if you waited at least 12 weeks for this booster.”
Jenne said the second doses are important because they boost immune memory and offer better protection against variants, but he believes the dates will come soon.
“I expect people arriving up to three months old at this time will start receiving their notifications for the recall. “
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Alberta Health currently has 7,300 doses of AstraZeneca and they don’t expire until the end of June, spokesman Tom McMillan said.
“Albertans are eligible for their second dose of AstraZeneca no later than four months and no earlier than three months after the first dose,” he explained.
However, 7,300 shots will not be enough.
Global News has asked twice if Alberta has requested more AstraZeneca and when it will arrive – and if not, why. These requests went unanswered.
When Premier Jason Kenney announced the plan to reopen Alberta, it added to Chwyl’s anxiety.
“Get vaccinated as soon as possible. But my government tells me it doesn’t really matter.
“We can have a great summer if everyone gets just one vaccine. But not everyone, only 70%. 100, and not really 70%. 100, but only 70%. 100 of all who qualify. So what is it? “
He said that even if UCP allowed festivals, concerts and other big events to continue, he would not attend.
“I wouldn’t feel comfortable going to these large public gatherings with just one dose. “