Dr. Hinshaw took to the podium on Tuesday, June 1 following the announcement of second-dose vaccinations being made available for Albertans.
She explained that due to the declining number of new cases, the testing for variants of concern will once again be expanded to ensure a safe path to reopening.
"Starting today, all positive test results in Alberta will be undergoing screening tests for variants of concern. This includes screening for not only the B.1.1.7 – or UK variant – which is the dominant strain in Alberta, but also the B.1.617 variant first identified in India, and the other two variants of concern, P.1 and B.1.351. Because we are screening all cases, we may see the case counts of these specific variants begin to rise, even as our overall cases fall. But it is a good thing to expand this screening. Every case we identify will help us track and limit further spread as we move toward further reopening."
Dr. Hinshaw also spoke to the vaccine rollout and second doses and strongly recommends that everyone gets their second dose. She addressed the issue of vaccine mixing if there is a shortage of one kind or the other. "The good news on this is that while, for the most part, we will give the same vaccine for first and second doses, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has advised that mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna can be used interchangeably for second doses if needed. Both Moderna and Pfizer are safe and highly effective, so you can be confident you are receiving full protection, whichever vaccine you receive."
For those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, you can choose to have the AstraZeneca as a second dose or an mRNA vaccine. For more information on vaccine, choices go to alberta.ca
The COVID-19 numbers for Tuesday, June 1 were as follows.
- There were 209 new cases reported with a positivity rate of 5.1 per cent.
- There are 438 people in the hospital with 127 of those in ICU.
- One additional death was reported bringing the total in the province to 2,228.
- To date, over 2.8 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the province. That breaks down to 63.4 per cent of the population has received one dose while 10.4 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
- There are active alerts or outbreaks in 417 schools or 17 per cent of schools in the province.
- Rocky View County dropped 20 cases for a total of 71 while Cochrane decreased by five for a total of 23 active cases.