In a Wednesday afternoon update from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, Alberta reported 692 new cases of COVID-19.
This raises Alberta’s count of active COVID-19 cases to 6,534.
285 people are currently in hospital due to the virus, including 53 individuals in intensive care.
In the past 24 hours, 202 additional cases of variants of concern have been identified, bringing the province’s active variant cases to 1,269.
There have been two new deaths related to the virus reported in the past 24 hours, increasing Alberta’s death toll to 1,973.
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In a statement released on Wednesday morning, the Alberta government reported that more than half a million doses of vaccine have now been administered in the province. That means that nearly one in 10 Albertans have received at least one dose.
“We are all tired of the ‘new normal.’ Fortunately, with every single vaccine administered we are getting closer and closer to returning to normal,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro. “If supply keeps up, every adult Albertan will be offered a vaccination by the end of June.
“Alberta’s vaccine rollout is one of the best in the country, with among the highest percentage of doses administered.”
Dr. Hinshaw addressed concerns about whether or not the AstraZeneca vaccine is still safe to take, as blood clots in the brain have been reported in one person for every million doses.
“It is not clear yet whether the vaccine caused this issue, but, in order to be cautious, Health Canada is adding a warning to the Canadian label on this vaccine.”
“This condition is treatable and very rare. When considering this, it’s also important to remember that COVID-19 infection significantly increases the risk of blood clots and other serious health issues.”
Dr. Hinshaw stated that an unvaccinated person in Alberta between the ages of 20 and 49 has, on average, a 500 times higher risk of dying from COVID-19 after testing positive than having a blood clot after immunization.
Vaccines are safe & I encourage all ABs to be immunized. Any AB born in 1956 or earlier or FNMI ppl born in 1971 or earlier can book an appt now. Spots are available. If you already have an apt for April pls call other pharmacies or AHS to get the vaccine much sooner. (9/9)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) March 24, 2021
As of March 23, 512,248 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, with 93,910 Albertans having received the 2 doses it takes to be fully immunized.
Dr. Hinshaw will provide another live update on Thursday afternoon.