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Thousands more first doses of vaccine needed for Alberta to fully reopen: premier

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says 115,000 more people need to get their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine if the final stage of the province’s reopening plan is to go ahead later this month.

At a news conference Monday, Kenney said there were 100,000 bookings over the next week. 

The province has said Stage 3, which could happen as early as June 24, would see all health restrictions lifted as long as 70 per cent of Albertans 12 and over had received at least one shot.

Kenney said the province is ready to go ahead with the second phase of reopening on Thursday.

It would allow up to 20 people at outdoor gatherings, weddings and funeral services.

Last week, a medical association asked Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson to keep rules on wearing masks in indoor public spaces until at least 70 per cent of their cities’ population has been fully immunized.

The Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association sent the letter over concern about the pace of the reopening plan, given that the delta variant first identified in India is able to infect two-thirds of people who’ve only had a single dose.

The Canadian Press