In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford / John Cairns)

Opinion: Alberta vaccine rollout lacking transparency

If a provincial election was called tomorrow, Premier Jason Kenney and his UCP party may not like the results.

A new poll says 41 per cent of Albertans would vote for the NDP and only 26 per cent would cast a ballot for the provincial government.

Another nine per cent would back the Wildrose Independence Party.

The Alberta Party would get three per cent of the vote, the Liberals and Greens two per cent and two per cent would support other parties. Sixteen per cent were not sure who they would support.

Those results came in earlier this week, as Kenney announced giving as many first doses of the vaccine as possible and to count on future shipments for second doses.

Although this announcement is a step in the right direction to help curb the ongoing pandemic, a lot more would have to be done to win Alberta voters back.

For one, there’s the recent travel scandal. Although it’s been about two weeks since that unfolded, it is something Albertans will remember for months to come.

A 91-year-old Red Deer resident wrote to the Advocate in a letter recently about how she spent Christmas alone in her room, while members of the caucus were travelling over the holidays.

“Never ever will I trust you (Jason Kenney) or your party again,” wrote Lillian Glover.

The Kenney government isn’t getting high marks for the way it’s handling the vaccine rollout either, and both our healthcare system and our economy is riding on the success of that process.

There’s a lack of transparency and clarity as to how the rollout process is going on a daily basis.

Questions remain unanswered: Paramedics were left behind in the initial rollout of vaccines but as of this week, they are included. The government’s logic behind that is not known.

Firefighters are so far not part of the rollout. Can Albertans expect this to change also?

How is it decided exactly which health-care worker gets that vaccine call?

On Tuesday, the government website showed how many vaccines were administered in the last 24 hours – this number should’ve been posted weeks ago.

We also know the government has a vaccine rollout Task Force in place. Albertans would be justified in expecting a daily brief vaccine update from the task force team right after the chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw provides COVID statistics.

Some data is available online on but questions such as what is the next goal, when is the next deadline, what is the goal by the end of today, the end of this week and this month, how many doses remain until we run out and so on, are not easily available.

The province needs to have daily progress information streamlined, neatly packaged online, for any Albertan to see. This data should show a goal versus versus outcome on a daily basis.

Discrepancies also remain between what we hear from the officials versus what we see on the Alberta government website. For instance, Premier Kenney announced Tuesday night that vaccines will be available to the general population starting in June. Although this is remarkably positive, the website states the province’s original goal in fall. This may as well be a temporary lag, but it gets confusing quickly for an Albertan who doesn’t follow the news every day, but wants to know exactly when the vaccine will be available to them with an online search.

We know that the government set a goal to hand out its first 29,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of December. That happened, but a few days late.

A daily distribution tracker will help Albertans understand how we’re progressing every day and hold our government accountable when needed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Mamta Lulla is acting editor at the Red Deer Advocate.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People lineup at a hotel for the homeless before the 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew on Jan. 11, 2021, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Legault nixes call for COVID-19 curfew exemption, saying it could used to avoid fines

Legault nixes call for COVID-19 curfew exemption, saying it could used to avoid fines

The body of 25-year-old Kyler Corriveau was discovered near Red Deer on Sunday. He was missing since Dec. 15. Police are investigating his death as a homicide. (Contrinuted photo).
RCMP are investigating the death of missing Red Deer man as a homicide

The body of Kyler Corriveau was discovered on Sunday

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 456 new cases of COVID-19 over Tuesday afternoon. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Community Futures Central Alberta, in partnership with the Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN), is behind the SMARTstart initiative for budding entrepreneurs.
New program aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed

Program offers mentorship, business advice and networking opportunities

A Red Deer man, who has been declared a dangerous offender, lost his appeal of an aggravated assault conviction from 2017. Advocate file photo
Red Deer man who chomped on remand centre inmate’s ear loses aggravated assault appeal

Inmate lost part of his ear in attack at Red Deer Remand Centre in August 2017

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

FILE - John Mulaney arrives at night one of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 14, 2019, in Los Angeles. A file obtained by The Associated Press shows the U.S. Secret Service investigated John Mulaney, but found no wrongdoing in a joke the comedian made on “Saturday Night Live” in February 2020. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
File details investigation into John Mulaney ‘SNL’ monologue

File details investigation into John Mulaney ‘SNL’ monologue

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, file photo, Tom Hanks arrives at the People's Choice Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
From Gaga to Garth, Miranda to Moreno: Celebs join inaugural

Like so much this past year, the inaugural celebration will be like… Continue reading

A Honduran migrant poses for a photo at a road block manned by Guatemalan soldiers and police, on the highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Some migrants threw rocks while authorities launched tear gas and pushed the migrants with their riot shields back down the highway. (AP Photo/Sandra Sebastian)
Large migrant caravan dissolves in Guatemala

Large migrant caravan dissolves in Guatemala

FILE - In this May 2, 2020, file photo, Erika Bermudez becomes emotional as she leans over the grave of her mother, Eudiana Smith, at Bayview Cemetery in Jersey City, N.J., Bermudez was not allowed to approach the gravesite until cemetery workers had buried her mother, who died of COVID-19. Other members of the family and friends stayed in their cars. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
‘Shameful’: US virus deaths top 400K as Trump leaves office

‘Shameful’: US virus deaths top 400K as Trump leaves office

Riot shields are stacked at the ready as National Guard troops reinforce the security zone on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
2 Guard members made extremist statements about inauguration

2 Guard members made extremist statements about inauguration

In this Jan. 6, 2021, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Now that the House has impeached President Donald Trump for the second time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must figure out the best strategy for arguing the case before the Senate. Senate rules say the trial must start soon after the chamber receives the article of impeachment, which cites “incitement of insurrection” after an angry mob of Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol last week. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
McConnell: Trump ‘provoked’ Capitol siege, mob was fed lies

McConnell: Trump ‘provoked’ Capitol siege, mob was fed lies

Biden marks nation’s Covid grief before inauguration pomp

Biden marks nation’s Covid grief before inauguration pomp

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

Most Read