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Kenney provides update on vaccine plan, hopes for return to normal by May

Last Updated Apr 12, 2021 at 12:45 pm MDT

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney listens as the 2021 budget is delivered in Edmonton Alta, on Thursday February 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – If the vaccine rollout continues the way the province planned, the premier said we’ll be at 50 per cent herd immunity against COVID-19 by the end of next month.

Premier Jason Kenney made those remarks while providing an update on the vaccine program Monday morning.

He explained that once two-thirds of Albertans are immune, things could go back to normal.

“I believe that we’ll be on track, about a month from now, back to relaxing measures as we have the protective effect of the vaccines. Right now, things are going up (and) I think it would be irresponsible to risk blowing up the health care system.”

Kenney said that based on the province’s projections, by the end of May, it will hit 40 per cent protectiveness against the virus.

He added that if vaccine rates don’t outpace variant spread, then we could see up to 2,000 new cases a day. Once we get to 40,000 active cases the health care system would be in trouble.

“We’ve done everything we can to expand the capacity of the health care system but there is a limit to that,” Kenney said. “This has been incredibly painful for all of us, I’ve had to make decisions with cabinet I would never have imagined in my life.”

He’s hopeful Alberta can have outdoor festivals this summer and said that organizers are working with health officials on a possible plan to host these events.

However, this depends largely on vaccinations and Kenney expects every adult who wants a vaccine will be offered the first dose by the end of June as long as supply arrives as scheduled.

Kenney also announced two rapid flow-through clinics will open Monday in Calgary and Edmonton. The clinics are open for people between 55 and 64 years old and by appointment only.

On Monday, the province entered Phase 2C of its vaccine rollout plan which opened appointments for thousands of workers in the health care sector.