CALGARY -- Residents in northeast Calgary are being offered a new, simple opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19, thanks to a new initiative from the provinicial government.

On Saturday and Sunday, up to 5,000 Albertans will be able to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine without an appointment at clinic set up at one of the rinks at the Village Square Leisure Centre.

Officials said the drop-in clinic aims to reduce obstacles for those seeking their vaccine as well as addressing vaccine hesitancy among Albertans.

"More than 63 per cent of eligible Albertans have received a first dose of vaccine, an important milestone as we safely open for summer and drive down the spread of COVID-19," said Health Minister Tyler Shandro in a statement.

"As we open up second doses, first doses remain a priority and I hope this low-barrier outreach clinic will encourage those who haven’t yet received a first dose to do so."

Rajan Sawhney, Alberta's minister of community and social services and MLA for Calgary-North East, says her constituency has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic.

"This new opportunity to receive a vaccine is a major step towards removing barriers that have held many people back from better protecting themselves and their loved ones."

This is the third vaccine clinic for northeast Calgary. The other clinics are open seven days a week and are offering vaccines by appointment only.

Since March, they have delivered more than 85,000 vaccinations, officials say.

A drive-thru clinic, administered by Alberta Health Services, will open June 7.

Information about the COVID-19 vaccines currently available will be offered in more than 70 languages.

All Albertans interested in obtaining a vaccine at Village Square Leisure Centre, located a 2623 56 St. N.E., are asked to bring a piece of identification and their Alberta Health Care card.

The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 5 and 6.