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COVID-19 vaccine shortage pauses first dose appointments

First dose COVID-19 vaccinations have been completed in all 357 long-term care home in Alberta, but Premier Jason Kenney says it’s not all good news when it comes to the vaccine rollout. Kenney confirmed Monday that due to an unexpected supply disruption, Alberta will have no more vaccine doses available to administer as first doses by at latest Tuesday.

Alberta Health Services has administered nearly 90,000 doses to eligible health-care workers and staff since the rollout began in December. However, Kenney says they are now having to pause the vaccine rollout timeline.

“The news on January 15th that Pfizer shipments would be cut by 20 to 80 per cent over the coming weeks only adds to our frustration and means we have had to significantly slow down our vaccination plan,” he says. “Unfortunately, this means that the planned vaccination of First Nations and Métis individuals and seniors over age 75 has been put on hold.”

Premier Kenney says that the slow down will also mean no new appointments will be accepted, with some first dose appointments already booked being rescheduled over the coming days to accommodate limited supply. He adds it is frustrating to see this happen while other countries, like the United States and the United Kingdom, have received significantly larger quantities of vaccines.

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According to the Government of Alberta, the province currently has the capacity to deliver approximately 50,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per week.

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