CALGARY -- Vaccinations for Albertans born in 1946 and earlier will be available at 102 pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer starting the first week of March, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Wednesday.

Bookings at the selected pharmacies will open on Wednesday afternoon, he added.

Albertans age 75 and older who don't live near those centres will be able to get vaccinations through Alberta Health Service.

Each pharmacy will have its own process for booking, scheduling, screening and administering vaccines, said Margaret Wing, president of the Alberta Pharmacists' Association.

Both doses required will be booked when making appointments and invidivuals must be asymptomatic when receiving the vaccine.

Registration for vaccinations opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday for seniors born in 1946 and earlier, however the system crashed within minutes, leaving many frustrated.

Despite that, Shandro said more than 21.000 bookings had been made by 1 p.m. Wednesday.

First Nations and Metis who are age 65 or older will also be eligible. Vaccines will be provided in two doses, given five to six weeks apart.

Along with the use of pharmacies, there will be 58 sites set up to deliver vaccinations, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Tuesday.

"Seniors must return to the same clinic to receive their second dose of the vaccine to ensure appropriate timing between doses and to help manage vaccine supply," reads a post on the AHS website.

"Family members can book on behalf of those over 75 who are eligible to receive the vaccine. They will need the Alberta Health Care number and date of birth of the person being vaccinated and can make the appointment from a desktop computer or hand-held device."

There are logistical challenges involved, said Hinshaw, namely the special storage needs for the vaccines.

On Tuesday, Hinshaw said more than 180,000 Albertans have received vaccinations so far, including, 107,000 people who have received a first dose and 73,000 who have received the two doses required.

There are 326 people in hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 51 in ICU.