Hinshaw expects vaccine shortages to be ‘common’ in coming weeks

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Speaking during a Facebook Live on Tuesday evening, Premier Jason Kenney said the Alberta government expects to start administering COVID-19 vaccine to the general population sometime in May or June. The province still lists the fall as the official target for widespread vaccination for the general public.

Alberta reported 23 more deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, bringing its fatality toll to 1,368 since March 2020.

The province also reported 875 new cases, as Alberta’s active infection total fell to 12,838. Of those, 4,752 were in AHS’ Calgary zone.

There were 820 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province, including 137 in intensive care.

The new daily reported case numbers represent a positivity rate of roughly 5.5 per cent.

Despite encouraging figures, Hinshaw said it’s too soon for Albertans to “ease up” on responsible behaviour aimed at reducing spread of the virus. She called it the “most challenging moment of the pandemic so far.”

“We are seeing some positive numbers. The reduction in our positivity rate is encouraging, the reduction in our new daily cases is also encouraging and our hospitalization and ICU admissions . . . are slowly coming down,” said Hinshaw, noting that the province is considering what public health restrictions it might be able to relax in the near future.

“The actions that Albertans take once those measures are eased will determine our future,” she said.

“Ultimately, if we open up and people are not following those measures and we start to see our cases rise again . . . we can very quickly get into a difficult situation again with respect to our acute-care system.”

Twitter: @SammyHudes

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