Manitoba

Infection rate for vaccinated Manitobans remains very low

The proportion of Manitobans who contract COVID-19 after getting at least one vaccine dose remains very low, even as more contagious variants of concern become the dominant strains of the virus.

As of Monday, 0.09% people contracted COVID-19 more than 2 weeks after vaccination

Nora Valencia receives her vaccination from Karen Balzer at the Leila Avenue COVID-19 vaccination centre in Winnipeg. The proportion of people contracting COVID-19 after vaccination continues to be very low. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

The proportion of Manitobans who contract COVID-19 after getting at least one vaccine dose remains very low, even as more contagious variants of concern become the dominant strains of the virus.

As of Monday, 0.09 per cent of Manitobans who had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine got infected after the two-week period needed to build up immunity, provincial data says.

The infection rate after two weeks was 0.08 per cent on April 14. Since then, Manitoba has administered 2½ times as many doses.

In total, 481,119 Manitobans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of that sample, only 410 contracted COVID more than two weeks after receiving that first dose, the province said.

The province does not count infections that occur within two weeks of a first dose because it takes about two weeks to build up an immune response.

"Any infection that occurs during the first two weeks was either contracted before the dose was given or before the body had mounted an immune response," the province says.

Of those 410 positive cases, 26 ended up in hospital. Seven of those patients — all over age 65 — died of the disease.

That places the chances of dying from COVID-19 for a vaccinated or partly vaccinated Manitoban at one in 68,731, or less than a quarter of the chance getting struck by lightning during your lifetime, assuming you live to 80 (one in 15,300, according to the U.S. National Weather Service).

"The numbers … are in line with what we'd expect to see in any successful vaccination program," said a spokesperson for the provincial vaccination task force.

The infection rate is similar for people who have had two doses of the vaccine. As of Monday, 75 of the 76,060 fully immunized Manitobans contracted COVID-19 more than seven days after their second dose.

That works out to an infection rate of 0.1 per cent.

Of those 75 cases, seven ended up in hospital and none died.

The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford shots, which are the ones available in Manitoba, are all two-dose vaccines. The province continues to administer first doses before scheduling second doses, a shift in strategy made months ago in an effort to protect more Manitobans from the coronavirus more quickly.

"It's very clear that the vaccine is is protective," Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, said on Monday. 

"You can see it in our in our health-care system. With people admitted to hospital, we're seeing less and less of the older age groups admitted to hospital, and that's very likely due to the large vaccine uptake in [those] age groups."

As of Friday, people under 40 accounted for 69 per cent of Manitoba's active cases of COVID-19. People over 60 accounted for eight per cent of active cases.

With files from Bryce Hoye

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