Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he is exploring domestic vaccine production as slow downs of vaccine delivery continue. (Photo by the Government of Alberta)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he is exploring domestic vaccine production as slow downs of vaccine delivery continue. (Photo by the Government of Alberta)

‘We have to plan for the worst’: Kenney not satisfied with federal government vaccine rollout plan

Kenney said along with other premiers, they are exploring domestic COVID-19 vaccine production

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney continues to push the federal government to deliver more COVID-19 vaccine doses.

In a press conference about protecting boreal ecosystems in Northeast Alberta, Kenney also addressed concerns about vaccines in Alberta.

The province has administered 129,452 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far and close to 37,000 people have been fully immunized.

Alberta was supposed to roll out Phase 1B in February, vaccinating all seniors over the age of 75 and First Nations, Métis and persons 65 years of age and over living in a First Nations community or Metis Settlement, but delays in shipments of the Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has caused a slowdown of that plan.

Kenney said he has spoken with other premiers about domestic production of the vaccine, as well as a local company. He has reached out to the president of Providence Therapeutics, a Calgary-based company that could produce a COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more:

Premier open to loosening COVID-19 restrictions based on regional approach

7 Opioid-related deaths in Red Deer in November

Kenney indicated that the company needs a $150 million order that represents 50 million doses of the vaccine.

“We are pursuing domestic production and potential supply because we apparently cannot rely on the federal procure vaccine doses from around the world, which is why we’ve been in discussions with Providence,” Kenney said, adding there is another company in Phase 1 of vaccine production that officials have connected with.

“A small order by ourselves would not be adequate to secure domestic production, should Providence get to Phase 3 trials in Canada.”

Kenney said domestic production of vaccines is essential because even if it doesn’t start until 2022, they can resell those doses on the international market. In the meantime, it’s also necessary because he believes the federal government has not been able to deliver doses in a timely manner.

“It’s obvious we can’t count on international vaccine supply during COVID-19, given the vaccine nationalism and the failure of the federal government to get strong enough contracts to access supply,” Kenney said.

According to the federal government’s vaccine distribution website, Alberta is slated to receive more than 62,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the next month and 35,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine in February.

“We’re told by the federal government that we’re going to get enough supply to get to widespread immunity by September. We don’t know whether we can count on that, because supply keeps evapourating,” he said.

“We shouldn’t take any chances. We need a belt and suspenders. We need to keep putting pressure on the federal government, to in turn put pressure on the international suppliers… we should also plan for the worst. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

Most Read