Alberta health officials are warning residents about scam phone calls promising appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine — for a price.
In a social media statement Wednesday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) warned that residents over the age of 75 are being targeted by a phone scam claiming they can book their COVID-19 immunization for a fee.
But the province will never charge for COVID-19 vaccines, they said.
“AHS will never ask for payment for COVID-19 immunization. Please hang up immediately and report to the non-emergency line for local law enforcement,” the statement read.
Alberta is currently in Phase 1A of its vaccination campaign, offering immunizations to long-term care residents and workers, along with a select group of health-care workers, including emergency room workers and paramedics.
Phase 1B, which was slated to start this month, will include residents over 75 and people over 65 living in First Nations communities. However, delays in the shipment of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have pushed the start of Phase 1B back.
Can Canadians get the COVID-19 vaccine for free?
Even when the vaccine roll-out does reach their respective group, Albertans will not receive a phone call offering appointments for a fee.
Eligible health-care workers will receive a direct email from AHS with a unique link to go online and book their immunization appointment for free. Further details on when and how other groups can book their free vaccinations will be made available in the coming weeks and months.
On Dec. 10, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government would foot all costs of the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada including the cost of supplies to administer them.
“Doses will be free for Canadians,” he said.
The Public Health Agency of Canada also notes that all COVID-19 immunizations will be free to Canadians.