Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Canada's chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Tam warns that full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Canada’s chief public health officer reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those who are fully vaccinated remain susceptible to COVID-19.

Speaking at a virtual townhall for Yukoners, Dr. Theresa Tam said the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower for anyone who receives two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

“But it’s not absolute. There’s reduction in your risk of transmission, but it doesn’t necessarily eliminate your risk of transmission,” Tam said, adding that the danger dials down especially after the second dose.

“Some studies have shown that it reduces the amount of virus in the back of your nose. If you sample people, there’s less virus, which means less risk of transmission.”

Young people, who often work in frontline or essential services and sit at the bottom of vaccination priority queues, now have some of the highest case rates and can transmit the virus despite showing no symptoms, Tam added.

“The groups that transmit the virus the most are actually younger adults, many of whom have to work. They can’t stay at home,” she said.

“It’s important that we protect them, as well as the fact that if they’re protected, we reduce transmission of the virus in the community.”

Alberta and other parts of Canada remain mired in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as hospitalization rates have started to tick downward in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec.

Many parts of the country face tight restrictions, with schools closed across Ontario and Alberta and patios shut down in Montreal, Toronto and — as of this Monday — Calgary.

Some Albertans continue to chafe at the tougher measures, which Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday.

Protesters went ahead with an anti-lockdown demonstration outside a highway diner in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta., for the “Save Alberta Campout Protest.”

The largely mask-free gathering follows a rodeo billed as an anti-lockdown event held last weekend in Bowden, about 100 kilometres southwest of Mirror.

Alberta Health Services has said the provincial government will take legal action to stop any planned protests of COVID-19 public health orders, including the one outside the café.

Mass vaccination efforts continue to broaden across swaths of the country.

In Ontario, nearly 150 pharmacies started offering COVID-19 vaccines to all adults in some virus hot spots this weekend, a shift made to align with provincial efforts to protect the most vulnerable amid a third wave of infections.

The province quietly announced the expanded eligibility — for anyone aged 18 and older — on a provincial pharmacy vaccine booking webpage on Friday afternoon, with slightly more than half of the locations in Toronto and Peel Region.

On Thursday, Quebec said it vaccinated 102,762 people, the highest single-day number since the start of its vaccine rollout. The province set another record that day, when vaccinations opened to everyone 35 and over, with 272,000 people booking vaccinations, Health Minister Christian Dubé said Friday.

Quebec’s health situation remains relatively stable, with the number of new COVID-19 cases falling short of 1,000 for the sixth day in a row on Saturday and hospitalizations also on the decline.

Dispiriting numbers kicked off the weekend in Nova Scotia, however.

The province continues to log high case counts of COVID-19, reporting 163 new infections Saturday, mostly in the Halifax region.

On the other side of the country, communities along the Alberta-British Columbia boundary said they’re worried continuing COVID-19 restrictions could hit their economies hard this summer.

The B.C. government is discouraging Alberta tourists from visiting. In Fernie, in southeastern B.C., the executive director of the local Chamber of Commerce said visitors from Alberta have traditionally accounted for the majority of the town’s total business.

“Fernie might as well be in Alberta for all intents and purposes. We’re that reliant on Albertans, obviously in the tourism industry, but in our economy at large,” Brad Parsell said.

“It’s been incredibly challenging for the tourism industry to not have the welcome mat out to those folks at the moment.”

A spokeswoman for the RCMP in B.C. said Albertans are not prohibited from visiting British Columbia, but, once there, they aren’t allowed to travel to other areas within the province unless it’s deemed essential.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2021.

Just Posted

CMHA
Mental health support centre in central Alberta to receive funding

Shoppers Drug Mart is lending support to the Canadian Mental Health Association.… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer was packed with people who lined the streets to watch the Westerner Days parade on Wednesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Westerner Days parade cancelled, full details on modified event coming June 28

The 2021 edition of Westerner Days will look much different than any… Continue reading

City council wants to hear from the public at a May 25 hearing about whether the temporary homeless shelter should be allowed to remain in the downtown for another year. (Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer staff to recommend another extension to allow operations at current temporary shelter site

Following some more research city administration has received no other new locations… Continue reading

A scene from the short Western ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws,’ written and directed by Jason Steele, with support from Telus Storyhive. (Contributed image)
Red Deerians make ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws’ short Western film

Writer and director Jason Steele received a $20,000 Storyhive grant from Telus

Residents in several neighbourhoods reported little to no water pressure Tuesday night. (File photo by Advocate staff)
City hall to reopen for payments and customer service

Red Deer City Hall will reopen on June 21 for utility and… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: You can’t trust Mondays

Monday isn’t my favourite day. It insists on occurring right after a… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stops Vegas Golden Knights' William Karlsson as he is covered by Canadiens' Joel Edmundson during first period of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal Friday, June 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Andreson’s timely scoring, Price’s goaltending give Habs 2-1 series lead over Vegas

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Montreal leads series 2-1) MONTREAL —… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) as he looks for an opening during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Curry, Harris help 76ers stay alive, hold off Hawks 104-99

76ers 104 Hawks 99 (Series tied 3-3) ATLANTA — Seth Curry hit… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a two-dose fall is… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Mendicino has announced a new policy to help settle 500 refugees and their families in a news conference today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year: Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced plans to expedite applications and increase the… Continue reading

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Bland leads at Torrey and shows the US Open is truly open

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Open prides itself on being the most… Continue reading

The Prime Minister's car waits outside the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg Tuesday, May 19, 2009. The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is showing no sign he'll release unredacted documents about the firing of two scientists at Canada's highest security laboratory — despite the prospect of being publicly shamed in the House of Commons for his refusal to turn them over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
PHAC head maintains he’s bound by law not to release docs on fired scientists

OTTAWA — The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant in Canada

OTTAWA — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly… Continue reading

Most Read