EDMONTON -- The first doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines may land in Alberta within weeks, says the province’s health minister.

According to Tyler Shandro, the provincial government is participating in Canada’s national procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

The first of 465,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine and 221,000 doses of Moderna’s version will arrive in Alberta in “early 2021,” he said Wednesday.

But their arrival, explained the chief medical officer of health, is contingent on the treatments passing the next stages of testing.

“These numbers, of course, depend on many factors: they depend on the final pieces of the trials that are underway going well, they depend on ensuring that the safety and effectiveness of the early vaccines can be assured,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in a provincial pandemic update that same day.

“All of those checks and balances must be cleared.”

The federal government has signed deals with both companies for tens of millions of doses, meaning to ensure as many Canadians as possible have access to the vaccines when they are available.

The vaccines will be distributed to provinces on a per capita basis. 

When that time comes, Alberta Health will work with Alberta Health Services and federal counterparts to first distribute the vaccine to “Alberta’s most vulnerable, health care workers and residents in continuing care.”

Moderna has estimated its vaccine candidate is 94.5 per cent effective, and Pfizer suggests its shots are 95 per cent effective.

With files from CTVNews.ca