Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has reaffirmed that COVID-19 vaccines will not be mandated in the province.
During a press conference on Friday, Federal Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said that provinces will likely turn to mandatory vaccination policies as COVID-19 case numbers continue to surge across Canada and threaten to overwhelm hospitals.
Kenney posted a tweet in response this Duclos’ comment, letting Albertans know that this would not be the case in their province.
Alberta’s Legislature removed the power of mandatory vaccination from the Public Health Act last year, Kenney said, adding that the province “will not revisit that decision, period.”
Alberta’s Legislature removed the power of mandatory vaccination from the Public Health Act last year and will not revisit that decision, period.
While we strongly encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated, it is ultimately a personal choice that individuals must make. https://t.co/16DcwLqknp
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) January 7, 2022
Kenney ended his tweet by writing, “While we strongly encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated, it is ultimately a personal choice that individuals must make.”
Alberta health officials reported a record-breaking 6,257 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.
Including the new infections, there are a total of 43,414 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. The province’s testing positivity rate was just over 38.5% on January 6.
There have been two additional deaths caused by the virus reported in the past 24 hours, bringing Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll to 3,338.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Alberta has seen a total of 395,252 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 348,500 have since recovered.
Currently, there are 504 people in hospital with the virus, including 64 in intensive care with COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated individuals make up 52.78% of COVID-19 hospitalizations, while 3.97% are partially vaccinated and 43.25% are unvaccinated.
As of January 6, there have been 7,825,022 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in Alberta. Of the province’s eligible population over the age of 12, 89.5% have had at least one shot, while 85.4% have had two doses of vaccine.