Unvaccinated Albertans are majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths: Hinshaw
Alberta's top doctor says the majority of the province's new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated or within two weeks of their first shot.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who is Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said in a social media post that 96 per cent of Albertans who have tested positive for the virus since Jan. 1 hadn't had two doses of vaccine.
She said 91 per cent of COVID-19 deaths and 95 per cent of hospital and intensive care unit admissions followed the same trend in the past month.
On Thursday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube similarly said on Twitter that 95 per cent of people who tested positive for COVID-19 last week and those who were hospitalized were not adequately vaccinated.
Dr. Craig Jenne, an infectious disease expert at the University of Calgary, said Alberta is making good progress in combating COVID-19 but risks remain.
“We do still have almost a third of Albertans with no protection and that does pose a risk,” said Jenne.
“It doesn't mean we're going to have a problem. But this is very much like a dry forest. And there is a forest fire risk that if we do get an uptick, it can spread fast and far with low vaccine rates.”
Jenne said Alberta has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in the country, despite previously leading the way.
Nearly 75 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose, while more than 60 per cent are fully vaccinated. By comparison, Ontario is nearing 80 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively.
For effective herd immunity, Jenne said more than 80 per cent of the total population needs to be fully vaccinated. Otherwise, he said Alberta could see a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
“We will not be able to achieve herd immunity, which is a powerful aspect of public health due to vaccination, unless some of these vaccine hesitant people do get vaccinated,” he said.
Jenne encouraged those who are unsure about the vaccines to talk to health-care professionals.
Hinshaw said the two mRNA vaccines - Moderna and Pfizer - are performing slightly better than AstraZeneca in protecting against symptomatic infection, but all have been effective in combating severe outcomes.
With the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, she said one dose of vaccine is 57 per cent effective and two doses are 85 per cent effective.
Hinshaw said two doses of vaccine have also proven 91 per cent effective against the Alpha variant, first identified in the United Kingdom.
“This latest information is encouraging and underscores again the importance of getting fully vaccinated as soon as you can,” Hinshaw said in a Twitter post.
Alberta Health's website shows more than 5,128,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the province, as of Wednesday.
On Thursday, Premier Jason Kenney said 90 per cent of those most vulnerable to COVID over the age of 65 are fully vaccinated.
He said the threat of COVID overwhelming the health system has been sharply curtailed.
“We can move forward with confidence,” Kenney said Thursday during a news conference in Camrose.
“The virus will continue to circulate. Numbers will go up and they'll go down, but what matters most is that the widespread protective effect of vaccines is real.”
Alberta reported 106 new cases of COVID Thursday, bringing the active case count to 676. There are 93 Albertans currently in hospital, with 26 of those patients in intensive care.
The provincial death toll now sits at 2,320 after two additional deaths were reported.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 22, 2021
With files from Dean Bennett in Edmonton
Calgary Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
After spending nearly three years in a Chinese prison, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have finally landed in Canada
China's government was eagerly anticipating the return of a top executive from global communications giant Huawei Technologies on Saturday following what amounted to a high-stakes prisoner swap with Canada and the U.S.
Germany's closely fought election on Sunday will set the direction of the European Union's most populous country after 16 years under Angela Merkel, whose party is scrambling to avoid defeat by its center-left rivals after a rollercoaster campaign. The environmentalist Greens also are eyeing at least a share of power.
Israel is pressing ahead with its aggressive campaign of offering coronavirus boosters to almost anyone over 12 and says its approach was further vindicated by a U.S. decision to give the shots to older patients or those at higher risk.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has apologized for the first time for the horrors that occurred in residential schools it ran for the federal government for more than a century.
The head of emergency medicine for the Alberta Medical Association says major components of triage have already begun in Alberta.
CTVNews.ca tells the story of the 44th federal election in six charts, breaking down the percentage of total votes won by each party, what was gained, what was lost, and where in Canada saw the closest, nail-biter races.
Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says "active" discussions are underway with various countries, including the U.S., to permit the entry of Canadians with mixed COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The 14 highest patient ICU patient counts have all come in September.
The 14 highest patient ICU patient counts have all come in September.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says China has released detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and U.S. Justice Department officials reached a deal to resolve the criminal charges against her and a B.C. judge discharged the extradition matter.
The demographic makeup of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia has shifted dramatically in recent weeks, with children under 10 years old now making up the biggest share of confirmed new infections in the province.
The B.C. government announced 743 new cases of COVID-19 and seven coronavirus-related deaths Friday, as the province marked a new vaccination milestone.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is calling on Justin Trudeau's newly elected Liberal minority government to get back to work as soon as possible and provide a pandemic recovery playbook.
The new cases were among 743 cases found across the province over the past 24 hours.
We knew COVID-19 had started to spread among unhoused people in Victoria, but we didn't know exactly how many people were affected until now.
More than 300 middle and high school students from across Greater Victoria walked out of classes to take part in the "Our Earth – Our Future" strike for climate action on Friday.
New Brunswick to reinstate state of emergency as province reports record COVID-19 cases, three more deaths
New Brunswick will be returning to a state of emergency as the province continues to battle the growing fourth wave of COVID-19, officials announced Friday.
As parent Brittany Snow peruses a list of Nova Scotia schools affected by COVID-19 exposures, she worries what it means for the safety of her children, who are too young to be vaccinated.
The community of Amherst, N.S., came together on Friday to collectively grieve the loss of six of their own who were taken much too soon.
A person is dead and two others are in life-threatening condition following a collision in Brampton overnight.
B.C. woman turned away from popular Toronto tourist spot because vaccine certificate doesn't include key detail
A woman from British Columbia travelling to Toronto was turned away from one of the most popular tourist destinations because her province's vaccine certificate doesn't include a key piece of information.
The Ontario government is easing restrictions on capacity limits for some indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required.
A one-year pilot of the automated speed enforcement system at eight locations in Ottawa resulted in 101,778 tickets issued for speeding between July 2020 and July 2021
Ottawa's four school boards are reporting more than 110 active cases of COVID-19 among students, staff and volunteers.
One person has died, injuries are being monitored and bullet casings were found following a slew of what appear to be violent crimes occurring overnight in Montreal.
'We have to confront our clients,' Quebec bars and restaurants struggling with COVID-19 vaccine passport rollout
Two groups representing Quebec's bars and restaurants say that three weeks into the vaccine passport program, establishments have had enough and risk ruin if the government does not step in with financial assistance.
Tofu sold in Quebec is being recalled over a possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination, which can cause flu-like symptoms or have more serious impacts on pregnant people.
Waterloo regional police are asking for the public's help to identify a man who was found dead in Kitchener on Friday morning.
It's been two-and-a-half weeks since the school year started and youth cases of COVID-19 are already spiking in Waterloo Region.
Brian Turnbull, who served as Waterloo's mayor for three terms, has died.
It's day three of the new proof of vaccine rule and people need to have a valid proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter many private and public places.
'Rise in numbers is always concerning': Southern Health Region seeing climbing COVID-19 infection rates
COVID-19 infection rates are climbing in the Southern Health Region at a pace much quicker than the more densely populated Winnipeg Health Region.
Elections Canada says it is awaiting official word from lawyers before a recount is called in a Winnipeg riding where Conservative incumbent Marty Morantz clung to victory with just 24 votes.
A movie starring Woody Harrelson is set to shoot in Winnipeg, and people living with disabilities may have an opportunity to be in the film.
QR codes are being temporarily removed from Saskatchewan COVID-19 vaccination records due a privacy breach.
A pair of Saskatchewan doctors say the province should share COVID-19 modelling data to help both physicians and residents prepare for what could be coming.
As Saskatchewan's Missing Persons Week comes to a close, a high profile missing person in the United States is driving conversations around similar cases closer to home.
A case of animal cruelty has resulted in a $21,000 fine and lifetime ban on cattle ownership for a women from Love, SK.