Alberta's vaccine program has hit another major milestone with more than 4 million doses of the vaccine administered.
As of June 24, Alberta Health Services, community pharmacies, and physician clinics across the province administered 4,022,084 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 71.3 percent of Albertans over the age of 12 have received at least one dose and 34.3 percent are fully immunized against the coronavirus.
"This tremendous achievement is made possible thanks to millions of people working together to ensure that COVID-19 no longer controls the lives of Albertans," said Premier Jason Kenney, who thanked Albertans for making the "right decision" to get vaccinated.
"We will keep rolling out vaccines as we safely open for summer," he said.
With active cases, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions on the downturn, the vast majority of public restrictions will be lifted on Canada Day as part of the province's commitment to reopening once first dose rates exceed 70 percent. As of June 26, 34.3 percent of Albertans are fully vaccinated, and 71.3 percent of those 12 and older have one dose.
As of Friday, only 190 Albertans are hospitalized and 50 remain in intensive care. The province reported one new death on Thursday that Alberta Health Services (AHS) confirmed was a man in his 60s who was not immunized and had significant comorbidities.
Alberta reported about 100 new cases out of 6,100 tests over the past 24 hours, leaving the province with a positivity rate of 1.70 percent and an R-value of 0.75. The latter number signified the virus spread to less than one person for each confirmed case, and continues to decline from previous weeks.
Alberta's Health Minister Tyler Shandro and its Chief Medical Officer for Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reverberated that vaccines are the best defence against COVID-19 and urged residents to get the jab as soon as possible.
"Four million doses is an amazing accomplishment and we won’t stop here," said Shandro. "Get vaccinated and continue to protect each other by making safe choices to protect your health," urged Hinshaw.
All Albertans 18 and over are eligible to register for the Open for Summer Lottery once they've received the COVID-19 vaccine. The lottery will have three draws of $1 million each along with prizes from Air Canada, WestJet, and the Calgary Stampede.