AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. The British health service has started to vaccinate "vulnerable" homeless people. In a study by Oxford University, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been shown to reduce transmission of the virus. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Thousands of AstraZeneca vaccine appointments booked in Alberta

EDMONTON — Alberta Health Services says thousands of people have made appointments to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

All Albertans born in 1957 can go online or call 811 today to book their shots, though the health agency warns phone lines are busy.

Indigenous people born in 1972 can also book appointments for the AstraZeneca shot by calling 811.

By midday, more than 5,000 people had been booked.

Alberta is following the advice of a national immunization committee and is not offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people 65 and older.

Online booking was overwhelmed last month when the province began offering shots of two other approved vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier.

Alberta Health Services says it has added queuing technology that tells users how many people are waiting ahead of them and if the wait is longer than an hour.

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