Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday that he expects “regular Albertans” to begin getting the COVID-19 vaccine in May or June.
In a 90-minute Facebook live video, the premier touched on a number of topics, including vaccine rollout.
“Based on our current projections of vaccine supply, we should be able to open it up to the general population in the summer around May or June, but it all depends on how much supply the federal government gets for us,” he said.
The province has provided mixed messages on the rollout. As of Wednesday afternoon, Alberta Health Services noted on its website that Phase 3 of vaccine rollout, including the general public, isn’t anticipated until fall 2021.
Kenney explained that the vaccination plan as it stands is to inoculate anyone over 75 or over in the next few weeks, before gradually moving down age brackets in the weeks following.
The premier also said earlier this week that Alberta was running low on supply of the vaccine.
As of Wednesday, Alberta had administered 52,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and according to the federal government’s distribution list, the province had received 59,000 total doses as of Jan. 7.
The federal government forecasts Alberta will get close to 68,700 more doses of the vaccine by the end of February.
In the Facebook live, Kenney noted that in certain areas of the province they have already run out of the vaccine.
He said the province has the capacity to ramp up vaccinations but they simply are getting the supply fast enough.
“We are short of supply. We’re in a position now where we should be able to do at least 50,000 inoculations per week and towards the end of March, we believe we can do upwards of about 200,000 per week,” he said.
The premier added that with the influenza vaccine, they were giving out as many as 400,000 per week earlier this winter.
“That’s the kind of logistical capacity we have,” he said.
Kenney believes by the end of the week, they will have immunized every senior living in long-term care or designated supportive living.
“It is an important turning point in the fight against the virus,” Kenney said.