Alberta adds fewer than 200 new cases for 5th straight day but vaccine demand decreasing
Alberta reported fewer than 200 new cases of COVID-19 for a fifth straight day Monday, but demand for first doses of vaccine continues to wane.
The province reported 115 new infections Monday. Vaccinations among eligible Albertans continued to inch closer to the 70 per cent reopening threshold Monday with 68.8 per cent of those aged 12 and over having now received a first shot.
But, just over 3,500 new first doses were administered on Sunday, the lowest since late February according to the latest provincial data.
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More than 2.6 million first doses of vaccine have now been administered, including just over 790,000 second doses, representing 20.8 per cent of the eligible population.
Also Monday, the number of COVID-19 deaths in Alberta rose by one, up to 2,270, with the death of a Central Zone woman in her 40s. She is the 70th Albertan under the age of 50 to die due to COVID-19.
Active cases fell to 3,089 the lowest level since mid-October.
There are now 270 people in hospital including 73 in intensive care units.
The province reported a 3.77 per cent test positivity based on approximately 3,300 tests.
Alberta entered Stage 2 of its reopening program on June 10, two weeks after reaching the target of 60 per cent of Albertans having had a first shot.
Stage 3, which lifts almost all restrictions, is set to begin two weeks after 70 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least a first dose.
Earlier Monday, Premier Jason Kenney announced details of the province's vaccine lottery, aimed at getting more shots in arms as demand for first doses sags.
Alberta has among the lowest first-shot vaccination rates in Canada although it is among the leaders in second doses administered measured as a per cent of population.
All Albertans aged 18 and older are eligible to register for the announced three draws, the first of which will happen on Day 1 of the Stage 3 reopening.
Registration for the second and third draws closes on Aug. 24 and Sept. 23.
Each winner will have to provide proof of immunization. For the second and third prizes, winners will need to provide proof of their full immunization.
Other non-cash prizes, Kenney said during a news conference on Monday, will be announced in the coming weeks.
"We knew a point would come when we would run out of low-hanging fruit in terms of people who were eager to get the jab, and we reached that point about a week, two weeks ago," he said.
"Now it's a game of inches. We just have to get every single person we can."
With files from Alex Antoneshyn
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