10 delta variant cases connected to outbreak at Calgary hospital were fully immunized

CALGARY – Alberta’s top doctor confirms 10 people linked to COVID-19 delta variant outbreaks at Foothill Medical Center in Calgary were fully immunized before testing positive for the disease.

“What we are monitoring now is whether or not they have had milder disease as expected,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, during the provincial COVID-19 briefing Thursday.

According to Alberta Health Services, one dose of an mRNA vaccine – like Pfizer and Moderna – offers 73 percent protection against the alpha variant. This immunity increases by up to 91 percent with a second dose.

When it comes to the Delta strain, a first dose provides 33 percent protection and a second dose provides 88 percent.

“While we can see some cases that breached the vaccine, the vast majority of people vaccinated are protected,” Hinshaw said.

As of Wednesday, AHS will confirm 16 cases of variant B.1.617.2 in patients on two units of the Foothills Medical Center. Six healthcare workers also tested positive for the variant.

The hospital has seen multiple outbreaks over the course of the pandemic, but this is the first with the Delta variant.

The hospital remains open and can treat all patients, although AHS said the two units affected by the outbreaks are not accepting admissions. Patient transfers to long-term care centers from the two units with the Delta variant are also suspended.

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