The Government of Saskatchewan continues to recommend vaccines as the best defence against severe outcomes related to COVID-19, following the latest data on December cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Nearly 30 per cent of the 4,621 cases reported in Saskatchewan in December were unvaccinated, or individuals who tested positive within three weeks of their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Sixty per cent of the new cases reported in December were individuals who were fully vaccinated.
According to Health Canada, a percentage of individuals who are vaccinated may still become infected with COVID-19, but they are “very effective” in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.
Of the 4,621 COVID-19 cases reported in December, 65 cases, 1.4 per cent, resulted in hospitalizations with 31, 48 per cent, of those being unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
ICU rates were 3.5 per 100,000 cases for the unvaccinated and 0.4 per 100,000 cases for those with two doses.
Seven people died after testing positive for COVID-19 in December, four of whom – 57 per cent – were unvaccinated. No deaths were reported in those under 20 or those with three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In Saskatchewan, 869,541 people are fully vaccinated.
Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer addressed concerns of vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19 in November, explaining that the trend was not a cause for concern due to a high percentage of the population being fully vaccinated.
“Eighty-one per cent of (Saskatchewan’s) population is fully vaccinated,” Shahab said at the time. “If 81 per cent of the population is seeing 50 cases, the rate per 100,000 is much lower versus the remaining 20 per cent of the population that is unvaccinated,” Dr. Saqib Shahab said.
Dr. Shahab said severe outcomes in people younger than 65 are mostly all unvaccinated.
Fifteen individuals were admitted to the ICU in December, 10 of whom – 67 per cent – were unvaccinated. Two ICU admissions were fully vaccinated individuals with underlying health conditions. No one admitted to the ICU in December was younger than 20.
“Based on the COVID-19 Vaccination and Breakthrough Infections report for the month of December, COVID-19 vaccinations continue to protect against the more severe COVID-19 illnesses,” the province concluded in its report.
Saskatchewan’s population is 1,180,867 as of October 2021, according to the provincial government. Not all Saskatchewan residents are eligible for vaccination.
Of the 2,804 cases in December with a second dose, 250, nine per cent, had comorbid conditions and 159, 5.7 per cent, were 65 and older.