COVID-19: Alberta’s vaccination pace ‘significantly’ increasing, 1,300 estimated new cases Friday

Click to play video: 'Alberta premier says vaccine rollout has significantly increased' Alberta premier says vaccine rollout has significantly increased
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was expecting over 6,000 COVID-19 vaccinations across the province on Thursday and Friday. – Jan 1, 2021

More than 3,000 additional Albertans are set to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of New Year’s Day, as the province estimated 1,300 new cases of the disease.

Jason Kenney said on Jan. 1 that Alberta Health Services was “significantly” increasing the pace of vaccinations.

“There is, at this point, really nothing more important than getting as many people vaccinated as we possibly can, particularly in the vulnerable elements of Alberta’s population,” Kenney said.

The premier added that the 3,000 additional vaccinations expected to be complete Friday, as well as 3,142 that were administered on Thursday will bring the total of Albertans who have received their first doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna shots to over 17,000.

Read more: AHS ‘actively recruiting’ more staff to help with COVID-19 immunization

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The total number of vaccinations by end of day Dec. 31 in Alberta sat at 14,244.

Earlier this week, Kenney had said the province was behind on its pacing goals on the vaccine release.

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The province initially set a goal of vaccinating 29,000 Albertans by the end of the year.

“I am pleased to say that we are making significant progress in accelerating the COVID-19 vaccine program,” Kenney said Friday.

“I want to thank all of those health-care workers who are working on a statuary holiday to help to inoculate Albertans from COVID-19.”

He also added that the province is “on the way” to a reaching a pace of 4,000 new vaccinations a day.

Click to play video: 'Alberta missed COVID-19 vaccination goal but is picking up the pace: Kenney' Alberta missed COVID-19 vaccination goal but is picking up the pace: Kenney
Alberta missed COVID-19 vaccination goal but is picking up the pace: Kenney – Dec 30, 2020

Limited data on COVID-19 cases in the province was also released through chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s Twitter account on Friday.

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She said there are an estimated 1,300 new cases, with about an eight-per cent positivity rate.

Hinshaw added that hospitalization and ICU rates remain stable in Alberta.

The number of deaths recorded on New Year’s Day was not released by the province.

Another preliminary update on COVID-19 in Alberta will be shared on Jan. 2, Hinshaw said.

— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News

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