Alberta has given out nearly three million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and the data shows it’s working.
The province reported 296 new cases of the virus based on 6,808 tests for a test positivity rate of 4.6 per cent Thursday and a total of 5,831 active cases.
There are 411 people in hospital with the virus across the province, including 120 in intensive care.
All those numbers are trending in the right direction as Alberta has administered 2.88 million doses of the vaccine, with 64 per cent of the population receiving one dose and 9.6 per cent fully vaccinated.
“After 15 difficult months spent living and working in a global pandemic, we have safe, effective vaccines to get COVID-19 under control,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.
“The evidence is clear, vaccines work and they save lives.”
Hinshaw explained since Jan. 1, 96 per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alberta were among people who were unvaccinated or they were diagnosed within two weeks of receiving their first dose, while immunity was building.
Only 0.2 per cent of all people who had their first dose got COVID-19 once 14 days had passed since their shot.
“This shows you the power of the vaccine at preventing infection,” Hinshaw said.
Since Jan. 1, 93 per cent of COVID-19 caseload that needed hospital care were either not vaccinated at all or diagnosed with infection within two weeks of receiving their first dose, Hinshaw explained.
She added that 88 per cent of deaths over that period were among people who were unvaccinated or diagnosed with the infection within 14 days of getting the first shot.
“It’s clear that vaccines are remarkably effective,” Hinshaw said, adding that vaccines have proven effective against most of the common COVID-19 variants circulating in Alberta.
Hinshaw also noted that even one dose of the vaccine has proven to be 73 per cent effective against infection from the B.1.1.7 variant, which is the dominant strain in the province. The vaccine is 99 per cent effective against that variant after two doses.
As for local COVID-19 cases, Red Deer is down to 218 active, compared to 230 on Wednesday. Red Deer has 5,636 total cases, with 5,378 recovered and 40 deaths.
The Central zone has 745 active cases of the virus, with 47 people in hospital and 11 in the ICU.
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 50 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 31 active and Clearwater County sits at 56 active.
Lacombe has 33 active and Sylvan Lake has 27, while Olds sits at 11 active. Mountain View County sits at 22 active, Kneehill County has 10 active and Drumheller has no active cases.
Camrose County sits at eight active cases and the County of Stettler has 12.
Camrose is at nine active cases and Wetaskiwin has 26 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 68 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 23 active cases. Rimbey, including parts of Lacombe County has 27 active.