Alberta's COVID-19 vaccination campaign reached an important benchmark Wednesday as more than half of the province's eligible population has received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Provincial officials announced Wednesday that 50.7 per cent of Albertans over the age of 12 now have two doses of vaccine.
Meanwhile, 73.6 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and older have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
As of end-of-day Tuesday, more than 4.6 million doses of vaccine have been administered across the province.
In a news release, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney thanked the 2.8 million people who got the jab for "sticking it to COVID."
Their diligence has allowed Alberta to open up for the summer, he said, adding that rising vaccination rates mean Alberta is inching closer to reopening for good.
Public health officials, meanwhile, are reporting 67 COVID-19 new cases Wednesday, as well as the first two cases of the C.37 coronavirus variant.
Two cases of the C.37 coronavirus variant — also known as the lambda variant — have been found in Alberta. Both were travel-related, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, posted on Twitter Wednesday.
Testing for the lambda variant is already part of the province's regular variant screening, noted Hinshaw.
The lambda variant, which was first identified in Peru in South America, is currently designated as a variant of interest. Public health officials are unsure if it will become a variant of concern, she said.
There were 21 new cases of variants of concern reported Wednesday. There are now 453 known active variant cases in Alberta.
There are 745 known active COVID-19 cases in Alberta — down slightly from Tuesday:
Calgary zone: 374
Edmonton zone: 137
North zone: 134
Central zone: 79
South zone: 19
There are 140 people being treated in hospital for COVID-19, including 32 in the intensive care unit.
Two more Albertans have also died from the illness, pushing the total since the pandemic began to 2,307.
There were 6,162 COVID-19 tests done Tuesday.
The current test-positivity rate is about 0.89 per cent.