Small portion of partially vaccinated Canadians test positive for COVID-19: PHAC

Roughly 1.3 per cent of Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving their first dose of a vaccine, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“As of April 26, 2021, a total of 6,789 COVID-19 cases were reported after receiving the first vaccine dose out of a two-dose series,” a PHAC spokesperson told CTV News Toronto in an emailed statement.

Of the more than 6,000 cases, 4,515 were reported within 14 days of the first dose and 2,274 were reported more than two weeks after, the agency added.

Millions of Canadians have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. On Monday, thousands of Ontarians secured an appointment for theirs.

“Clinical trials suggest efficacy after the first dose is [up to] 90 per cent,” said Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan.

“It’s great news” for people who have received at least one shot, said Peter Jüni, head of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table and epidemiologist.

“You’re much less likely to experience severe COVID, that’s great, but be aware this is only partial protection,” he added

Of the 2,274 people who reported getting COVID after two weeks, 203 were admitted to hospital and 53 people died.

However, Deonandan said Canadians should not panic.

“As we combat this epidemic, as the case numbers drop because of vaccination and other factors, later on this year the transmission will be so low that that tiny proportion of people for whom the vaccine has failed in will not encounter infection, therefore will not get infected.”

Cheyenne Scarlett is grateful to be partially vaccinated with Pfizer, especially after testing positive for the disease in January when she was six weeks pregnant.

“It was rough. I was actually hospitalized for five days,” she said.

She said she followed all the safety precautions, but having children in the house makes transmission of COVID-19 harder to control.

Scarlett said she’s relieved after receiving her first dose. 

“I wanted that extra coverage and I’m also pregnant so I wanted to make sure I was protecting my baby too.”

Scarlett will wait four months for her second dose, but said she doesn’t mind the gap if it means more people can receive their first.

“I think if we can protect a lot of people half way, versus half the people all the way, we’re reaching more and creating a little bit more herd immunity.”