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Downtown Immunization Clinic: everything you need to know

by Calgary Downtown Association


This guide contains information about the COVID-19 Immunization Clinic that opened downtown on Monday, April 5, 2021. You can use it to help navigate the area around the clinic and find some answers to common questions you might have.

Hours of Operation:

The Downtown Immunization Clinic will operate between 8 and 16 hours a day, seven days a week for those eligible and with pre-booked immunization appointments. 

Hours of operation will be based on vaccine supply. Albertans can check their eligibility and book their appointment using AHS' online booking tool, available at www.ahs.ca/covidvaccine or by calling Health Link at 811.

What to bring:

  • Masks and face coverings are mandatory while waiting in line and once inside the Convention Centre for your immunization appointment.
  • Please bring one piece of identification with you, which could include your Alberta Health Care card, a driver's license, Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, or passport.
  • Please wear clothing that will easily allow access to your upper arm for receiving the immunization.

Accessibility

  • A waiting room is available for individuals to sit after their immunization.
  • The clinic is wheelchair accessible and staff will be on-hand to assist individuals that require help. The clinic also has a wheelchair-accessible washroom on site.

How to get there

The Calgary Telus Convention Centre North Building is located at 136 8 Avenue SW (Stephen Avenue) in Downtown Calgary.

Pedestrian

Pedestrians accessing the Calgary Telus Convention Centre from the north should enter through the north pedestrian entrance. Pedestrians who are coming from the south should enter through the south pedestrian entrance. Due to a large amount of traffic expected near the entrance to the Convention Centre’s parkade, it is recommended that pedestrians avoid the area on Macleod Trail S between the C-Train line (7th Ave SW) and Stephen Avenue (8th Ave SW).

C-Train/Transit

Pedestrians accessing the Convention Centre from the C-Train should enter through the north pedestrian entrance. Travelling on the Red Line (East), this entrance is located directly on the Centre Street station platform. If traveling on the Blue Line (West), passengers should disembark at the 1 Street SW station and across the street to the north entrance. There are a number of bus stops in the area and it is recommended to visit the Calgary Transit website.

Beginning on April 10th, Calgarians who use transit to travel to the Convention Centre Immunization Clinic are eligible to receive two free transit tickets upon completion of their appointment. You will need a validated ticket or bus transfer from your trip to the Convention Centre to receive your free tickets. 

Car/Parking

Parking at the Convention Centre parking lot (CPA Lot #60) is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Those with appointments can receive 90 minutes of free parking by registering a parking session via the MyParking app or the Convention Centre parkade machines. For other parking areas around the Convention Centre, visit the Calgary Parking Authority, impark or Indigo websites.

Bike

The Convention Centre is located within a large network of Calgary’s bike paths, including Stephen Avenue and 9th Avenue (north and south sides from 11 St. SW to 3 St. SW and Macleod Trail to 4th St SE). To plan a route, visit the City of Calgary's bike path network map. Bike racks will be set-up at the immunization clinic on Stephen Avenue (8th Ave SW).

Frequently Asked Questions 

Immunization Quick Facts

  • Immunization is important in the global effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We must all do our part to protect one another and immunization is the most effective means of protecting yourself and the community. 
  • Vaccines make your immune system stronger by building antibodies to help prevent diseases. It is much safer to get immunized as opposed to getting COVID-19.
  • Widespread immunization will help all Albertans return to a more normal way of life, sooner.

Eligibility & How to make an appointment

Do I have to pay for the vaccine?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is free and is being offered to key populations identified in the province's phased immunization program. Any offers to provide vaccination to the public for a fee are not legitimate and should be reported to your local law enforcement agency’s anti-fraud/scam unit via the police non-emergency telephone line.

When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available to the general public?

It will take several months for our province to receive enough vaccine for everyone to be immunized. That is why COVID-19 vaccine is being offered in a phased approached, so people most at risk get it first. More groups will be eligible as vaccine becomes available. Spring / Early Summer 2021 (Phase 3) is the current estimate for the general public.

Vaccines in Phases 1 and 2 are currently authorized for people 16 years and older (Pfizer- BioNTech) or 18 years of age and older (Moderna and Covishield/AstraZeneca) and require two doses per person for optimal immunity to COVID-19.

What required identification do I need for my appointment?

Once your appointment has been booked and confirmed, on the day of your immunization visit you must bring one piece of identification that proves your age to your appointment.

  • This could include your Alberta Health Care card, a driver's license, Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, or passport.
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit people can self-identify as Indigenous when making their COVID-19 immunization appointment through the online booking tool, Health Link or at a pharmacy. This information will not be saved on your health records. You will not be required to show proof of Indigenous identity at your appointment.

What if I need help getting to my immunization appointment?

Isolated seniors and those with mobility challenges can call 211 for help finding a ride to an appointment

How do I know if I am eligible to make an appointment?

Check the Government of Alberta website to see if you are currently eligible for immunization and to view current booking options. Options may include:

  • Scheduling an appointment online using the AHS booking tool at ahs.ca/covidvaccine.
  • Calling Health Link at 811 to book an appointment through a Health Link nurse.
  • Booking through participating community pharmacies or sites.

Where can I get information on COVID-19 vaccines, such as possible side effects and vaccine components?

The Alberta Health Services websites outlines product information, including possible reactions, as well as information being given to patients receiving the vaccine. You can visit these frequently updated sites:

What is happening at this site

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for everyone?

It is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider. In consultation with them, you can determine if the benefits of immunization outweigh potential risks based on your health and circumstances. Per the current Alberta Health Service’s guidelines listed on their website, it says:

  • Persons under 18 years of age (Moderna); persons under 16 years of age (Pfizer)
  • Please consult with your family doctor or call 811 to speak with a health professional to make the best decision for yourself

Why should I get immunized? I heard/believe that the vaccine is ineffective/not safe to take/

This decision is a personal choice. AHS, in conjunction with Alberta Health, recommends all Albertans get immunized as soon as they are eligible no matter what vaccine option is provided. We encourage everyone to review current science-based evidence in order to make the best and most informed decision about your health, the health of your loved ones and the greater community.

I've recovered from COVID-19, should I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you should still be immunized. There is no mandatory waiting period between having COVID-19 disease and being immunized; however, it is recommended that people wait until they are feeling better.

I am accompanying someone to an appointment, why can't I get my vaccine?

At this time, due to the limited amount of vaccine, Alberta Health Services is limiting appointments to those within the eligibility groups to ensure we have enough vaccine to protect the groups at highest risk of severe outcomes. It is anticipated that more individuals will be able to be vaccinated in the coming months, as vaccine supply becomes available in the next phase of the roll out.

Can I bring a support person with me to my appointment?

Yes, for eligible Albertans that require assistance, we will make every effort for one support person to accompany you during your appointment, physical distancing and space permitting. A support person can be a spouse, family member, friend or caregiver. Support people must adhere to public health measures while at the clinic, including hand hygiene, continuous masking and physical distance from others.

Post-immunization

I received the COVID-19 vaccine, now what?

People who have received COVID-19 vaccine are still required to follow all measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes all public health measures and for healthcare workers, existing PPE guidance, including continuous masking, continuous eye protection and IPC recommendations for COVID-19. The vaccines being used in Alberta are good at protecting people from developing illness caused by COVID-19 but no vaccine is 100% effective. As we learn more about the vaccines and more people have been immunized, we’ll be able to revisit the requirements for people who have been immunized. In the meantime, it’s important that people who have been immunized continue to follow public health measures in order to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Will mRNA change my DNA?

No. Injecting mRNA into a person does not change the DNA of a human cell.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me a coronavirus infection?

None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in use in Canada contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

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