Albertans rush to get their shots following vaccine restriction announcement

Alberta's effort in fighting COVID-19 has been given a shot to the arm thanks to a big day of vaccination. 

The province says 28,158 people received a dose of the vaccine Thursday following Wednesday's announcement of its Restrictions Exemption Program. 

That's up from just 9,750 the day before.

Eighty per cent of eligible Albertans have now received a first dose, and just under 72 per cent are fully immunized.

Westend Pharmacy owner Hazel Patel said the uptick was a noticeable one. 

"I was expecting 10 to 15 people would be convinced, but then it was overwhelming," she said. "I had like 25 people yesterday (up from four the day before)."

Province-wide, more than three and a half times the number of doses were given out this Thursday than last. And a large chunk of those were people getting shot number one. 

More than 16,000 Albertans received their first dose Thursday. And more than 60 per cent of those people are under 40-years-old: reason for optimism in Alberta's age range with the lowest rate of immunization. 

"We definitely are seeing more people reaching out asking for help," Alberta Vax Hunter's Sarah Mackey told CTV News. "We're seeing that take off again, which is exactly what we anticipated would happen if they announced the vaccine passport."

Other Canadian provinces that have announced similar vaccine restriction programs have noticed comparable increases.