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

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Traffic will be delayed on 40th Avenue and 19th Street until the end of February. (Advocate file photo).
Traffic delays expected downtown this weekend

Red Deer drivers will be delayed in the downtown area of the… Continue reading

Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Friday, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the province’s plan to reduce surgical wait times over the next two years. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Alberta provides more funding to reduce surgery wait times

The province is working to provide better access to surgeries over the… Continue reading

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

FILE - In this May 3, 2020 file photo, Veneuzuelan security forces guard the shore and a boat in which authorities claim a group of armed men landed in the port city of La Guaira, Venezuela, calling it an armed maritime incursion from neighboring Colombia. Yacsy vÅlvarez, a woman who was charged in Colombia with helping organize the attempted armed invasion to overthrow Venezuela‚Äôs socialist government, says Colombian authorities were aware of the plotters‚Äô movements and did nothing to stop them and that she‚Äôs being made a scapegoat for the sins of others who abandoned the would be rebels. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)
3 Venezuelans plead guilty for aiding anti-Maduro plot

3 Venezuelans plead guilty for aiding anti-Maduro plot

Anti-coup protesters maintain their position behind a barricade despite smoke from tear gas in San Chaung township in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Mar. 5, 2021. Demonstrators defy growing violence by security forces and stage more anti-coup protests ahead of a special U.N. Security Council meeting on the country’s political crisis. (AP Photo)
Protesters defy Myanmar security forces as UN action urged

Protesters defy Myanmar security forces as UN action urged

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital, Wednesday, March 3, 2021 in Bay Shore, N.Y. Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a division of Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Lennihan
Provinces revise vaccination timelines as Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine approved

Provinces revise vaccination timelines as Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine approved

FILE - In this June 11, 2016 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II waves as she watches the flypast, with Prince Philip, to right, Prince William, centre, with his son Prince George, front, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge holding Princess Charlotte, centre left, with The Prince of Wales standing with The Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Anne, fourth left, on the balcony during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London. The timing couldn’t be worse for Harry and Meghan. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will finally get the chance to tell the story behind their departure from royal duties directly to the public on Sunday, March 7, 2021 when their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)
No winners: UK waits for Harry, Meghan’s take on royal split

No winners: UK waits for Harry, Meghan’s take on royal split

Animated character Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, left, appears with Sisu the dragon in a scene from "Raya and the Last Dragon." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Disney+ via AP
Canadian animator on adding cultural authenticity to ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

Canadian animator on adding cultural authenticity to ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

Members of the National Guard, Philip Fane, center, and Megan Puckett, right, help a motorist register at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. More than 27 million Americans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will have to keep waiting for guidance from U.S. health officials for what they should and shouldn't do. The Biden administration said Friday it's focused on getting the guidance right and accommodating emerging science. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
California to let Major League Baseball, Disneyland reopen

California to let Major League Baseball, Disneyland reopen

Visitors wearing face masks leave the Alamo, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in San Antonio. Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is lifting a mask mandate and lifting business capacity limits next week. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread

Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread

Most Read