Vaccine timeline grows more unclear as Kenney cites ‘May, June’ target for general population

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About 1,500 appointments for health-care workers in the AHS Calgary zone were cancelled so vaccine could be used to complete immunization at continuing-care facilities, AHS spokesman Kerry Williamson told Postmedia.

“We need additional vaccine,” Williamson said. “Central zone completely ran out of vaccine over the weekend. Numerous North zone sites ran out of vaccine over the past few days, and South zone had to reduce the number of available appointments.”

Alberta is slated to receive 24,375 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 17,100 doses of Moderna this week. The Pfizer batch has arrived, while the Moderna shipment will be received Friday and will be used as second doses for continuing-care immunizations.

Sheila Veeder, 63, a resident of the Riverview Care Centre in Medicine Hat, AB is the first long-term care resident in Alberta to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Photo by ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES

NDP Opposition health critic David Shepherd said conflicting information on immunization timelines is muddling the important process.

“It’s the last thing Albertans need right now, for their leader to be delivering mixed messaging on something that’s so important,” Shepherd said.

“Either Jason Kenney doesn’t actually know when the timeline is going to happen, which is concerning, or he’s deliberately choosing to play games, changing his story based on who his audience is or his political goals.”

Shepherd also echoed previous calls from the NDP for the province to hold daily updates on the status of vaccine distribution.

According to a Leger poll for Postmedia released Wednesday, less than half of Albertans are satisfied with government communications surrounding vaccinations.

The online survey of 1,000 people, conducted from Jan. 8 to 10, found 44 per cent of respondents were satisfied with government messaging, with 22 per cent reporting being “very dissatisfied.”

As well, 56 per cent of Albertans said they were not satisfied with the speed of vaccine rollout, with only eight per cent saying they were “very satisfied.”

However, the poll also found more Albertans than not are satisfied with the province’s vaccine approach on the whole.

— With files from Lisa Johnson and Tyler Dawson

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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