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St. Albert now first in province for vaccination rates

The COVID-19 case count dropped to 155 on Tuesday, the lowest for the city since April 10.
1905 COVID vaccine map C
Across Alberta, 50 per cent of the eligible population has been given one dose against COVID-19. PHOTO/Supplied

The community of St. Albert now sits in first place in the province for vaccination rates, with 56.8 per cent of the population over the age of 12 receiving their first dose.

This is an increase of 0.8 percentage points from Monday to Tuesday, climbing from 39,284 people vaccinated to 39,855 vaccination doses given out, an increase of 571 doses in the past 24 hours.

While vaccination rates in the city continue to climb, active cases are decreasing, down from 171 on Monday to 155 on Tuesday, a drop of 16. This is the lowest case count for the city since April 10.

Sturgeon County is also seeing their active cases drop from 85 on Monday to 78 on Tuesday, a decrease of seven.

Morinville is holding steady at 35 active cases for the second day in a row. 

Sturgeon County West, a region that includes Morinville, has a vaccine rate of 41.8 per cent, or 12,687 people. Sturgeon County East has a vaccination rate of 41.7 per cent or 2,571 people.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said across Alberta, 50 per cent of the eligible population has been given one dose against COVID-19.

More than 2.24 million doses of vaccine have been administered across the province so far.

“This is a significant feat and something we should all be proud of,” Hinshaw said.

Despite growing vaccine rates, the rate of transmission is still high in Alberta, with a positivity rate above 10 per cent.

“I’ve talked before about trying to build a wall of protection against sort of a flood of the virus … We still have very high transmission rates; still have very high positivity,” Hinshaw said.

Across Alberta another 877 cases were diagnosed overnight, bringing active cases to 20,013. The province ran 8,081 tests for a positivity rate of 10.9 per cent.

There are currently 691 Albertans in the hospital and 187 of those in intensive care.

As of May 16, some 2,217,446 vaccine doses have been given out across the province, with 42.8 per cent of the population receiving at least one dose.

St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron said she believes the city has a higher vaccination rate than most of the province because of the high proportion of seniors living in the community.  

"We have, definitely, a growing seniors population," Heron said. 

The mayor noted the city may have more access to vaccines, and even though the community doesn't have an Alberta Health Services vaccination site, there are many pharmacies offering doses to residents.

"St. Albert residents, for the most part, have the ability to drive into Edmonton, so we're in that socioeconomic category that has access," Heron said. 

The highly educated population in the community could also help combat vaccine hesitancy, the mayor said, which could help drive up vaccination rates. 

Heron said other communities across the province are struggling with much higher rates of vaccine hesitancy and anti-mask mentality, and the mayor said she has been thankful to be leading such a thoughtful and well-informed community throughout the pandemic. 

While high rates of vaccination in St. Albert are good news, the mayor said the province is in the battle against COVID-19 together, and the overall vaccination rate across Alberta matters more than the local St. Albert rate. 

"In the end, we just need to get everybody vaccinated," Heron said. 

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette and has been with Great West Media since 2015
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