A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

All adult Albertans to be offered first dose of vaccine by end of June: Premier

Alberta’s premier says the province will be “back to normal” when 72 per cent of people are immune to COVID-19.

“Last week Alberta implemented aggressive, but necessary measures to keep people safe and to protect our health care system, by returning to Step 1 of the four-step framework to protect the health system and reduce the rising spread of COVID in the province,” Jason Kenney said Monday morning.

“These measures are designed to buy us time to get enough Albertans vaccinated so we can finally get through this thing and get back to normal this summer. Vaccines remain our best hope.”

To date, more than 865,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Alberta.

Kenney has said vaccine rollout is critical, as the impact of COVID-19 on the province has become a race between the rise of the variants and getting a critical mass of people vaccinated.

In coming weeks, almost a quarter of Albertans will have “some degree of immunity” through vaccine or prior infection, said Kenney.

Almost half of the population should have at least one shot by the end of May, two-thirds (64 per cent) by the end of June and three-quarters (72 per cent) by mid-September, he said.

“We’re nearing the end of a long and tiring journey. It is our path to recovery and freedom,” Kenney said.

“Right now we’re in a transition period fighting to keep control of the virus just a little while longer until it’s vanquished by vaccines.”

Once about half of Albertans have immunity, the provincial government is hoping to raise capacity limits for gatherings, said Kenney.

“Some restrictions may remain, but not anything like right now.”

When about two-thirds of Albertans are immune, there won’t be any formal restrictions, Kenney said, adding stampedes, sporting events and other festivals will be possible, especially if they’re held outdoors. Masks and distancing will only be encouraged and not mandated.

Albertans will then get “back to normal” when 72 per cent of people are immune to the virus.

As Phase 2C of the province’s vaccine rollout plan began Monday, Kenney said the supply of vaccines is increasing.

The province expects to receive 119,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses every week, until early June when that number jumps to 225,000 a week. Alberta will also receive more Moderna vaccine shipments and is hoping for its first shipment of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine in early-May, said Kenney.

“As more doses arrive, we will keep accelerating our rollout,” he said.

“All adults in Alberta will be offered a first dose of vaccine by the end of June, provided that those doses arrive as scheduled.”

Rapid flow-through clinics have been opened in Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat.

Mega clinics — each able to able to administer up to 1,000 doses per hour and 6,000 per day — opened in Calgary and Edmonton on Monday.

With files from the Canadian Press



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read