All of Alberta’s supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been spoken for.
In a statement, Alberta Health Services confirmed that no more appointments for that vaccine will be booked but there are still some pharmacies that have appointments available.
“There are no appointments for AstraZeneca available for online booking or by calling 811 at this time, province-wide at AHS sites,” AHS said in a statement, adding if someone cancels an appointment, it gets added back into the system.
People who are booked for an AstraZeneca shot at an AHS site will still receive it.
“At end of the day yesterday (Thursday) AHS had administered about 85,283 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through both booked appointments and via walk-in province-wide,” AHS said in its statement.
Premier Jason Kenney noted in a Wednesday press conference that Alberta expected more AstraZeneca doses, but because of a COVID-19 crisis in India, which is Canada’s main supplier of that vaccine, deliveries have stopped.
“It’s regrettable but understandable,” he said.
Kenney added that almost 14 days ago, the province had a huge supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine sitting in freezers, so they decided to lower the age requirement to people 40 and over.
“We had about 170,000 doses in fridges across the province (about 10 days ago)… That’s when we decided to open up the age categories to 40 and above,” he said Wednesday.
“Well, this is a problem and we share the frustration, people who are now queued up and can’t get that AZ vaccine, at least we got those shots into the arms of people and they are no longer sitting on shelves and that’s a good thing.”
That also created a problem.
“We have 59,000 doses of AstraZeneca in current inventory, of course, many of those are already out in pharmacies and waiting to be put in people’s arms,” Kenney said Wednesday.
“Here’s the problem, we have 76,000 doses booked to be administered in the next seven days. Demand is outstripping supply.”
Kenney said the good news is the province is expecting more than 500,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine over the next two weeks, plus 117,000 doses of Moderna.
According to the federal government’s vaccine delivery schedule, Alberta will get nearly one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in both May and June.
“I think in the month of May, we maybe able to innoculate with the first dose, upwards of 700,000 people and that’ll be a game-changer for sure,” he said.