September COVID-19 hospitalizations in Sask. were driven by unvaccinated patients

Saskatchewan saw pandemic-high COVID-19 hospitalizations in September and, according to new data from the provincial government, the large majority of people admitted were not fully vaccinated against the virus.

Eighty-two per cent of the 449 COVID-19 patients admitted to Saskatchewan hospitals last month did not have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The government said 348 patients were unvaccinated or tested positive within three weeks of their first shot and 20 patients had one dose, while 101 were fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated individuals also accounted for the lion’s share of ICU admissions in September as they were 17 times more likely to need intensive care than someone who had both shots.

Of the 83 patients admitted to intensive care, 71 were unvaccinated, two had their first dose and 10 were fully vaccinated.

The province said two of the 10 fully vaccinated patients had comorbid conditions and three were age 70 and older.

COVID-19 DEATHS IN SEPTEMBER

The government reported 72 COVID-19-related deaths in September; 35 people were unvaccinated, 9 had the first shot and 28 were fully vaccinated.

According to provincial data, 26 of the 28 people who died despite receiving both shots were age 70 and older and nine had comorbid conditions.

The September death rate for the unvaccinated population was 8 per 100,000, while the death rate for the vaccinated portion of the population was 4 per 100,000, making an unvaccinated person twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than a fully vaccinated person.

CASES IN SEPTEMBER

Saskatchewan reported 13,141 new cases of COVID-19 in September, which account for 19.5 per cent of total cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic.

Nearly 22 per cent of new infections were reported in children age 11 and younger, who are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Of the new cases, 71 per cent were unvaccinated, seven per cent had the first dose and 22 per cent had the double dose.

The new case rate for the unvaccinated population was 2,220 per 100,000 people, while it was 415 per 100,000 for those who were fully vaccinated.