Vaccine lottery, walk-in immunization: What you need to know before Tuesday’s COVID-19 update

EDMONTON — With Dr. Deena Hinshaw on vacation, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. André Corriveau will give a live COVID-19 update on Tuesday.

Watch the news conference live at 3:30 p.m. MST on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

It’ll be the first COVID-19 update since Thursday, and since the province opened its immunization lottery on Monday at noon.

Announcing the three $1-million prize draws that day, Premier Jason Kenney presented the plan as a way to get about 15 per cent of Albertans – who government polling suggests are open to getting the vaccine but simply haven’t yet – to immunization clinics, and a method of ensuring Albertans got the second dose when eligible.

“We’ll keep an eye on it, but we were just talking to Dr. Hinshaw about this a couple of hours ago and we remain confident about the prudence of Alberta’s plan,” Kenney said.

According to the latest data, about 68.7 per cent of eligible Albertans are vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

In order for the province to drop most public restrictions by Canada Day, it needs to see 70 per cent by Thursday, June 17.

To encourage Albertans to get the jab, the Alberta government has been using targeted ad campaigns and information mailers, opened workplace or community pop-up clinics, and even welcomed walk-in appointments at two Edmonton and Calgary centres.

“We knew a point would come when we would run out of low-hanging fruit in terms of people who were eager to get the jab, and we reached that point about a week, two weeks ago,” Kenney said Monday.

“Now it’s a game of inches. We just have to get every single person we can.”

The plan, however, has been criticized by some public health experts as setting a precedent rather than increasing public trust in medical research.

“We don’t pay people to donate blood. People die from not getting organ transplants and we refuse to pay donors. So why is getting 1.5 per cent of the population vaccinated worth $3 million?” Edmonton ICU Dr. Darren Markland asked.

Manitoba was the first Canadian province to announce a COVID-19 vaccine lottery with $2 million in prizes.

Alberta reported on Monday fewer than 200 new cases of COVID-19 for the first straight day. There were 270 people hospitalized with the disease, including 73 in ICUs across the province.

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