EDMONTON -- A west Edmonton mosque is set to host a first-dose vaccination drive this weekend with as many as 1,200 appointments available. 

The drive is set to run Friday afternoon through Sunday evening at the MAC Islamic Centre at 6104 172 Street. 

"These vaccines are very safe and highly effective, so please get your dose as soon as possible," said Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. 

The clinic will dispense mRNA vaccines and appointments can be booked by calling 811 or visiting Alberta Health Services booking site online. 

"These community and government partnerships proved to be effective working models for working together during challenging times," said Sharaf Sharafeldin with the Muslim Association of Canada.

The clinic runs 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Alberta is nearing the 70 per cent threshold of the eligible population with a first dose of vaccine to begin Stage 3 of the province's reopening program.

Stage 3 removes almost all public health restrictions and will begin two weeks after the 70 per cent mark is reached. 

After a strong start, demand for first doses has dropped off in recent weeks. A sizable increase in vaccaintions yesterday was largely in part due to historical doses from pharmacies and those vaccinated abroad being included in the count for the first time. 

As of Wednesday morning, 69.4 per cent of eligible Albertans have now received at least a first dose of vaccine.