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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Monday that the province will not be scheduling anymore appointments to administer first COVID-19 vaccine doses, until further notice.
“By the end of today or early tomorrow, Alberta will have no more vaccine does to administer as first dose,” Kenney said. “We have quite simple run out of supply.”
This comes after the federal government announced last week that deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be delayed for the next four weeks, with a 20 to 80 per cent reductions in doses arriving in Canada.
Kenney said this action to stop first doses of the vaccine being administered is being done to ensure Alberta has second doses available during the Pfizer delay.
The premier said that although the province would not be able to secure its own agreement with Pfizer, he has asked experts to look into whether the Government of Alberta can enter into their own bilateral purchase agreement with manufacturers that don’t have exclusive agreements with the Government of Canada.
“I’m deeply disappointed at the situation we are now facing,” the premier said. “It’s doubling disappointing that Pfizer has since been able to readjust its delivery schedule so that European countries will not be significantly affected but Canada’s supply will be held back.”
Pfizer and BioNTech anticipate that deliveries in Europe will be back to back to the original schedule by Jan. 25, but will extend until the end of February in Canada.
Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott said the next two weekly shipments will be reduced by 20 per cent and 80 per cent respectively, with larger deliveries expected to begin in late February or early March.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that in hindsight, he wishes the province could have produced their own COVID-19 vaccine candidate.