Herd immunity to protect against COVID-19 infection will take time, but Red Deerians can do their part by getting vaccinated as soon as possible, says a Red Deer family doctor.
Dr. Peter Bouch, with Red Deer Primary Care Network, said about 75 per cent of people need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, and until then, strict restrictions and COVID protocols are necessary.
“My opinion would be for everyone to get vaccinated for sure. I think that’s the only way we’re ever going to get back to some sort of normality,” said Dr. Peter Bouch with Red Deer Primary Care Network.
He said seniors were eager to get the shot, but they need others to step up and get vaccinated so restrictions can continue to be eased.
“It’s a waiting game to see their loved ones and families they haven’t seen for awhile. They want to see grandchildren. That part is tough on them.”
He said very few of his patients have experienced vaccination side effects.
“It’s been very well tolerated, even the very elderly, the 90-plus year olds have all been fine.”
Bouch said Alberta has done a good job distributing the vaccine. Including pharmacies in the rollout for seniors 75 and older was a good idea instead of doctors’ offices because vaccine storage is complicated, and people need to wait around for 15 minutes in case of a reaction.
“I would recommend that we just stay the course. Physicians’ offices generally are not equipped to be able to do it and have that influx of patients.”
On Wednesday, Alberta Health Services started booking AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine appointments based on birth year starting with 1957. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit born in 1972 were also able to book appointments by calling 811.
Pending vaccine supply, Albertans born in 1958 to 1971 will be allowed to book in the coming days, rolling one birth year at a time. To book an appointment, visit www.ahs.ca/vaccine or dial 811.
Alberta Health Services said initial doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will not be available at pharmacies.