EDMONTON -- Alberta health-care workers in COVID-19 units are now eligible to receive the vaccine, the province announced Friday.

More than 15,000 medical and surgical staff members are also eligible to book an appointment immediately.

The announcement comes two days after more than 200 doctors sent a letter to the minister of health, advocating that staff who work in COVID-19 wards be moved up the priority list.

Previously, COVID-19 unit staff were scheduled to bevaccinated in February during Phase 1B of Alberta’s vaccine rollout.

There are approximately 3,300 COVID-19-unit staff and 15,400 medical and surgical staff in Alberta, according to a government press release.

The release also stated that doctors, nurses and pharmacists who are non-Alberta Health Services employees will now be able to administer vaccines, as per a directive from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

As of Jan 7., 37,686 doses of vaccine had been administered in Alberta, an increase of 3,822 doses over the previous day. 

Over the past three days, Alberta has administered an average of 3,805 doses of vaccine per day.