Seniors living in congregate care facilities and immunocompromised Albertans will be able to get a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine later this week.
The provincial government announced it will make third doses available for these individuals starting Wednesday.
“We remain committed to protecting Albertans from COVID-19, and vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to offer this protection,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro.
“We have always relied on the latest research to guide our decision-making, and now that evidence shows immunocompromised individuals and seniors in congregate care will benefit from getting a third dose, we are pleased to provide them.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said data shows that additional doses will offer stronger protection for immunocompromised individuals and older Albertans living in supportive living facilities.
“Just as we offered these individuals earlier access to COVID-19 vaccines and a shorter four-week interval between doses, we will continue to work to protect all Albertans as new data emerges. However, the best way for us to protect each other is still for as many people as possible to be fully immunized,” said Hinshaw.
There are 118,000 individuals who would be eligible for a third vaccine dose based on being immunocompromised (approximately 60,000) and those living in seniors supportive living (approximately 58,000).
Additionally, the government announced mRNA doses will be made available to Albertans who are travelling somewhere that does not accept visitors who have been vaccinated with Covishield/AstraZeneca or mixed doses.
Over the weekend, 3,056 new cases of the virus were identified in Alberta: 1,231 on Friday, 960 on Saturday and 865 on Sunday.
Of Sunday’s new cases, 653 (75.23 per cent) were among those who are unvaccinated, 55 (6.34 per cent) were partially vaccinated and 160 (18.43 per cent) were fully vaccinated.
Red Deer now has 326 active cases, which is 74 more than the 252 in Friday’s update, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Red Deer has also reported 5,888 recovered cases and 43 deaths.
Red Deer County has 103 active COVID-19 cases, Mountain View County has 97, Clearwater County and Lacombe County have 87 each, Olds has 76, Stettler County has 49 and the City of Lacombe has 41.
Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 61 active cases, while Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 22 and Rimbey, including West Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County, has 24.
The City of Camrose has 44 active cases, Camrose County has 17, Kneehill County has 23 and Drumheller has 14.
Overall, the Central zone has 1,304 active cases and provincially, there are 11,426 active cases.
Of the total active cases in Alberta, 8,273 (72.41 per cent) are unvaccinated, 1,055 (9.23 per cent) are partially vaccinated and 2,098 (18.36 per cent) are fully vaccinated.
Provincially, there are 401 people who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with 98 of those individuals in intensive care units. Forty-three are hospitalized in the Central zone, with 12 of those individuals in ICUs.