Alberta to reach 70% of first vaccination threshold by end of Thursday; 150 new cases – .

COVID-19: New cases of record-breaking variants in Alberta on Tuesday include two more Brazilian variants

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Alberta is on track for a Canada Day without any public health restrictions.

The province was expected to reach its target COVID-19 vaccination rate by the end of Thursday. Among Albertans aged 12 and older, 69.9% had received a single vaccine after about 5,300 first doses were given the day before, according to provincial data. That’s just under 60 percent of the province’s total population with just one hit. Over 24 percent of eligible Albertans received two inoculations.

If Alberta crossed the 70% threshold, the province would move to Stage 3 of the summer reopening plan on July 1. At this stage, almost all mandatory public health restrictions would be removed.

Meanwhile, Alberta reported 150 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Thursday and two more deaths.

New cases of COVID-19 have remained low in recent weeks. About 2.4% of the 6,044 COVID-19 tests performed on Wednesday were positive. The number of new cases, active cases and hospitalizations is dropping as more people in the province get vaccinated, although absorption of the first doses has recently slowed.

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Earlier this week, Premier Jason Kenney announced the Open for Summer Lottery to encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated. Entry for the first million dollar draw ends one week after Alberta hits the 70% first-dose goal.

There were 2,471 active cases in Alberta, including 535 in the Edmonton area and 1,078 in the Calgary area on Thursday. Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in Alberta have increased to 242, including 58 in intensive care.

Another 136 variant cases were found and 1796 of the active cases in Alberta are variants.

Calgary patients die in Delta outbreak

Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Andre Corriveau said on Twitter Thursday that two patients in their 80s had died from the Delta variant of COVID-19 at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital. One was fully vaccinated.

“The death of two patients naturally raises concerns, one of them having been vaccinated. Every death is tragic, but it is important not to over-generalize the community risk or the effectiveness of vaccines. The patients were 80 years old and had to be hospitalized before being exposed, ”he said.

“Unfortunately, no vaccine is 100% protective. If exposed, some vaccinees (people) will still get sick, and some seriously. The elderly and those with underlying illnesses are at greater risk. But most people will not get sick, and most of those who will will have milder illnesses. “

Alberta Health Services spokesperson Kerry Williamson said in a press release that one patient received two doses of an mRNA vaccine and the other was not immunized.

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The vaccines are 33% effective against the Delta variant at the first dose and 80% after the second, he said.

The Delta variant, first discovered in India, is being watched closely in Alberta.

Corriveau said Tuesday that the strain is likely to become dominant in Alberta, although the numbers so far remain low. In total, Alberta has had 391 cases of this strain, almost all in the Calgary area.

The Delta strain is now the dominant strain in the UK and, with its rapid transmission, threatens plans to further reopen the economy and lift health restrictions.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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