As Alberta recorded another daily COVID-19 case record, the province announced it had administered more than one million booster doses.
The province reported 4,869 new cases of the virus Thursday, based on 12,318 tests for a positivity rate of around 39 per cent, another record.
Government officials said early Thursday that while one million Albertans have now received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, more than two million are still eligible for a booster.
“We know that the third dose of vaccine strengthens protection against both infection and severe outcomes from the Omicron variant,” said Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw in a news release.
“I believe it is critical to use every tool at our disposal right now to protect the people and system we rely on to take care of us when we are sick. Reaching one million booster doses is a good start. I hope to see many more Albertans get their third dose as soon as possible.”
Alberta reported 39,897 active cases of the virus Thursday, with 498 people in hospital infected with the virus, including 64 in intensive care. There were three new deaths due to the implications of COVID-19 reported in the province over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 3,336.
The City of Red Deer jumped to 599 active cases, up from 523 reported Wednesday. The city has the seventh-highest active case total in the province. Red Deer has had 10,197 total confirmed cases to date, with 9,514 recovered and 84 deaths.
Meanwhile, Central zone has 1,993 active cases – up from 1,781 on Wednesday, with 77 people in hospital, including seven in the ICU. The local zone has reported 418 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
According to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website as of Thursday afternoon, the City of Wetaskiwin has 165 active cases, Ponoka County has 153, Red Deer County has 114, Lacombe has 104, Mountain View County has 88, Sylvan Lake has 64, Lacombe County has 61, Stettler County has 44, Clearwater County has 53 and Olds has 56.
Drumheller has 91, Camrose has 100, Kneehill County has 27, and Camrose County has 11 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 302 active cases, while Rimbey including parts of West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has 23 and Ponoka, including East Ponoka County has 56.
Overall, 89 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and older have received at least one dose while more than 160,000 pediatric vaccines have been administered to children aged five to 11, with thousands more appointments booked by caregivers for their children. Eighty-five per cent of the popluation 12 and over has two doses of the vaccine.
On the government’s website that tracks COVID-19 vaccine rates by community, Red Deer is divided into three parts. In Red Deer- North 76.8 per cent of the population 12 and over has received two doses of the vaccine, while in Red Deer-East, 81.3 per cent have two doses. In Red Deer- Southwest, 74.7 of the population 12 and over have had two doses.