Health, education ministers to join Dr. Hinshaw at COVID-19 update Thursday

EDMONTON — Alberta’s health and education ministers will join the chief medical officer of health at Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing.

Watch Tyler Shandro, Adriana LaGrange and Dr. Deena Hinshaw live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca live at 3:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Dr. Hinshaw reported 399 COVID-19 cases, including 47 more variant infections.

Alberta has 4,463 active cases and 254 patients in hospital with the disease.

ASTRAZENECA

Alberta Health Services began to administer AstraZeneca doses Thursday morning after the province opened bookings on Wednesday.

As of 11:30 a.m., AHS said just over 22,000 people had booked their shot. Bookings are currently open to Albertans born in 1957 and 1958 and Indigenous people born in 1972 and 1973.

READ MORE: How do I get the coronavirus vaccine in Edmonton?

On Wednesday, Dr. Hinshaw clarified the AstraZeneca is “not unsafe” for people with chronic conditions.

She explained the province was following the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s advice when it recommended Albertans with chronic conditions to wait for the Pfizer or Moderna shot, which offers higher protection against COVID-19.

“If an individual who has a chronic condition wishes to receive AstraZeneca and they’re in the appropriate age group, they could choose to do so.”

Denmark on Thursday suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for two weeks after reports of some patients developing blood clots after being inoculated.

Despite the reports, Dr. Hinshaw continues to assure Albertans the province’s AstraZeneca supply has not been linked to side effects.

AHS had administered nearly 310,000 vaccine doses as of Tuesday.

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