More than 2.8 million Albertans have been vaccinated so far, with 61.3 per cent of Albertans 12 and over fully immunized against COVID-19. (File photo)

More than 2.8 million Albertans have been vaccinated so far, with 61.3 per cent of Albertans 12 and over fully immunized against COVID-19. (File photo)

Alberta hits 75 per cent vaccine milestone in fight against COVID-19

Alberta reported 101 new cases of the virus Thursday

As COVID-19 cases slowly climb in Alberta, the province announced Thursday that 75 per cent of citizens have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

More than 2.8 million Albertans have been vaccinated so far, with 61.3 per cent of Albertans 12 and over fully immunized.

“Seventy-five per cent of eligible Albertans vaccinated with at least one dose is a milestone to celebrate, but a quarter of eligible Albertans still do not have vaccine protection,” said chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw in a news release.

“We need to vaccinate as many people as possible now to protect us all in the weeks and months ahead.”

The province reported 101 new cases of the virus Thursday, based on 6,622 tests, for a test positivity rate of about 1.5 per cent.

Active cases, which hit a yearly low earlier this month, climbed to 676. There are 93 people in the hospital infected with COVID-19, including 26 in the ICU.

There were also two new deaths due to the virus reported Thursday, bringing the death toll to 2,320 since the start of the pandemic.

According to the government’s COVID-19 website, the were 76 new variant cases reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of active variant cases to 393.

Meanwhile, in the Central zone, there are 39 active cases of the virus, with seven people in hospital and none in the ICU.

Red Deer has 10 active cases of the virus, down from 14 reported Wednesday. The city has 5,739 recovered cases and 43 deaths.

Kneehill County, Mountain View County, Ponoka County, Lacombe, Lacombe County, Wetaskiwin and Olds all have two active cases. Red Deer County sits at four active.

Clearwater County, County of Stettler, Camrose County and Sylvan Lake have no active cases.

On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin, including Maskwacis has four active cases.

The province also started reporting vaccine effectiveness this week.

Those partially vaccinated have between 58-63 per cent protection with the AstraZeneca vaccine and 88 per cent when fully vaccinated.

Those with a one dose of Moderna receive about 81 per cent effectiveness and 92 per cent when fully immunized. The Pfizer vaccine is 75 per cent effective with one dose and about 90 per cent for those fully vaccinated.

Against the U.K. variant, also known as Alpha variant, vaccines have proven to be 76 per cent effective in those who have one dose and 91 per cent for those who have two doses.

One dose of the vaccine only provides about 57 per cent protection against the B.1.617 variant, also known as the Delta variant. For those fully vaccinated, that number jumps to 85 per cent.

Partial protection is about 72 per cent effective against the P.1 Brazilian variant and 89 per cent effective in those individuals who are fully vaccinated.