Since the province’s restrictions exception program was launched in mid-September, more than 505,000 Albertans have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Tuesday.
The program allows businesses to operate without any pandemic-related restrictions, other than mask wearing, as long as patrons can prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or provide a negative COVID-19 test from the previous 72 hours that they paid for themselves.
As of Monday, patrons need to have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine administered at least two weeks prior before entering a business. Before Monday, one dose was acceptable.
“If you only have one dose, I urge you to get your second one as soon as possible,” Hinshaw said. “The data shows that two doses are much more effective at protecting you from COVID-19 and, in particular, from the Delta variant.”
While Hinshaw said she was pleased to see the uptick in vaccinations, she also pleaded with Albertans who haven’t been fully vaccinated yet to do so.
“Anyone who is not fully vaccinated is almost certain to be exposed to COVID-19 at some point in the future if they haven’t already been.”
In Alberta, the data has shown one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine provides 57 per cent protection against the Delta variant, while two doses gives 89 per cent protection.
In the last three months, people over the age of 80 who were not fully vaccinated were 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who were fully protected.
During the same time period, those who were between the ages of 70 and 79 and who were unvaccinated were 52 times more likely to die.
“If you haven’t already done so, please get fully vaccinated to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19,” Hinshaw said.
Tuesday’s COVID-19 numbers
On Tuesday, Alberta confirmed an additional 442 cases of COVID-19 from 7,786 tests. That puts the province’s positivity rate at about six per cent.
There were 836 people in hospital with COVID-19 — up slightly from 821 on Monday – with 183 of those people receiving care in the ICU.
Over the past 24 hours, 12 additional COVID-19 deaths were reported to Alberta Health.
Three of the deaths were reported in the Edmonton zone, all with pre-existing conditions: a man and a woman in their 50s and a man in his 90s.
Three of the deaths were reported in the South zone, all with pre-existing conditions: two men in their 70s and a woman in her 90s.
Six of the deaths were reported in the North zone, with four involving pre-existing conditions: a woman in her 60s, two men in their 80s and a woman in her 70s. A man and a woman in their 60s also died with no known pre-existing conditions.
There have now been 3,063 COVID-19 fatalities in Alberta.
There are currently 9,267 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta. There are alerts or outbreaks in 242 schools and two schools had 10 students or more who attended school in the last two weeks while infected.
Among eligible Albertans aged 12 and older, 86.7 per cent of people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among the same group of Albertans, 79.2 per cent are fully vaccinated.
To date, 321,210 Albertans have contracted COVID-19 while 308,880 have recovered.