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Alberta hospitalization risk rates equal amongst vaccinated & unvaccinated

Despite the unvaccinated having a significantly higher number of cases, the risk of ending up in a hospital is nearly equal amongst the two groups.




CALGARY, AB: Unvaccinated Albertans may be more likely to contract COVID-19, but they’re ending up in hospital at a nearly equal ratio as those who are fully vaccinated, among those who are infected, government data shows.

A look at current COVID-19 statistics shows 5,608 active cases amongst those who are vaccinated or partially vaccinated, compared with 12,787 cases among the unvaccinated.

But despite having a significantly higher number of cases, the risk of ending up in a hospital is nearly equal amongst the two groups.

As of September 12, there are a total of 355 news cases among the vaccinated, with 178 ending up in hospital – a rate of 50.14%.

There were also 1,140 new cases amongst the unvaccinated, with 593 hospitalizations – a rate of 52.01%.

COVID-19 stats

The Western Standard reached out to AHS but they declined to comment.

Meanwhile, this Thursday Albertans will be able to print off their own vaccine passport for use at establishments that require it, according to Premier Jason Kenney. The premier has repeatedly said he will never bring in a mandatory vaccine passport program, and has used the issue to fundraise for his party.

The MyHealth Records program allows Albertans to access to their personal heath information, whether carried as a card-sized passport or digitally on their phone or tablet, to show proof of their vaccination status. A QR code system is also in the works.

Kenney has denied that the card-sized document is a vaccine passport.

This comes in the wake of some Alberta businesses and facilities starting to require proof of vaccination as a requirement to enter their premises, including the Calgary Flames and Stampeders, Edmonton Oilers and Elks.

More than 110,000 Albertans have created their MyHealth Records account in the last three weeks, bringing the total number of users to about 910,000.

A special COVID-19 cabinet meeting followed by a UCP caucus meeting is expected to take place Tuesday afternoon, with many expecting new restrictions to follow.

Just weeks before bringing in the fourth round of COVID-19 restrictions, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney “swore to God” the province will be open for good.

Kenney makes the remark in a secretly-taped video of him from Calgary Freedom Central.

The video shows Kenney in a cowboy hat at what looks like a Stampede-type gathering.

A man who is surreptitiously taping Kenney talks to him about COVID-19, saying he has been hit hard by provincial lockdowns and is worried there may be more.

“It’s open for good. Open for good,” Kenney tells the man.

“I swear to God,” Kenney said, making the sign of the Cross.

Kenney tells the man there will be no need for further restrictions because the percentage of Albertans that have been vaccinated will keep the hospital system from being overwhelmed.

He said Britain is seeing a huge increase in COVID-19 cases but hospitalization rates are remaining stable.

When asked about people who are refusing to get vaccinated, Kenney said because they’re younger they’re not as likely to be severely affected by COVID-19.

“In Alberta, we’ve only had two deaths under the age of 30, zero under the age of 20,” Kenney says.

On September 3, Kenney went back on his promise that Alberta was “open for good” with the reimposition of several COVID-19 restrictions

The premier gave his first media availability since the beginning of the federal election, using his time at the podium to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated, but left it to Health Minister Tyler Shandro to announce the return of restrictions.

“We need to bring back measures that we know have worked in the past,” said Shandro. 

He said this will include forced-masking in all indoor public and workplaces, and a prohibition on alcohol sales after 10:00 pm.

Data was not provided as to how alcohol sales after 10:00 pm increase the transmission of the virus. 

The government also recommend that employers delay the return of staff to the workplace, and that unvaccinated Albertans do not have indoor social gatherings.

The move comes as an about-face by Kenney and the UCP government, which pledged that the lifting of restrictions on July 1 was permanent and would not return.

“This is an important milestone and a great achievement, but we will not stop here,” said Kenney at the time. “We will keep administering first and second doses [of vaccines] as quickly as possible so we’re not just open for summer, but open for good.” [Emphasis added]

Melanie Risdon is an Alberta Correspondent for the Western Standard

Melanie Risdon is an Alberta Correspondent for the Western Standard. She has over 20 years experience in media at Global News, Rogers and Corus. mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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  1. Left Coast

    September 16, 2021 at 11:27 am

    In Ireland 98% of those in Hospital with Covid . . .

    are Single & Double VAXED !

    Likely coming to Canada by October . . . what are the idiot Politicians going to do then?

  2. Eldon

    September 15, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    It us now Isreal who are finding the the vaxxed are the problem. Calling for the vaxxed to quarantine over the winter. They say the unvaxxed are not the problem.

  3. Proud Albertan

    September 15, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    CDC guidelines changed this week… if you received a second dose and you become sick or die within 14 days of that dose…technically your unvaxxed…

  4. Susan Grant

    September 15, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Such junk math! Hinshaw is eithet incompetent or evil. Kenney is hiding because he sold us out for his dirty secret from 2011 and Shandro is part of the fake conservative WEF club like Michelle Rempel-Garner.

  5. Brett Boyden

    September 15, 2021 at 10:23 am

    This article is false and misleading. new cases in one day divided by the total number of hospitalizations? there is no relation from that? Very disappointed this is still up.

  6. David

    September 15, 2021 at 10:20 am

    The Israeli experience shows the Pfizer not only doesn’t work, it has an unacceptably high risk of death or permanent disability.

    I may not like Justine, but I know he’s not so stupid that he cannot read. Why he hasn’t already had the Pfizer shot banned is beyond me. The only logical conclusion is that there is another agenda here, and it is not the “health of Canadians”.

  7. Lisa

    September 15, 2021 at 10:17 am

    The hospitalization rate of covid positive patients BEFORE the vaccines were available was between 1 and 5%. Now it is in excess of 50%! Experts like Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Michael McDowell warned that the vaccines would cause a rise in cases and severity. Looks like they were right. But this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” right…

  8. Barbara

    September 15, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Henshaw has thrown Kenny under the bus BUT she never told him that the CDC is telling everyone to STOP using PCR TESTS because they CAN’T tell the difference between the FLU AND COVID. SHE SHOULD KNOW THIS, IT’S HER JOB.

    Henshaw is the one that has been misleading us.

  9. Jon Phair

    September 15, 2021 at 8:35 am

    So here is a link to AHS website showing the actual bed numbers and explanations. Why do these numbers not match with the mainstream media? https://albertahealthservices.ca/br/Page17593.aspx

  10. MD

    September 15, 2021 at 8:13 am

    18 months into this and AHS is still not using treatments like HCQ and ivermectin that are more effective and safer than experimental jabs. 3rd world countries that are using the treatments are doing better than us! That should tell us a lot.
    Several health care workers in Alberta have said it’s more of the vaccinated with Covid and jab injuries in the hospital. Whistleblowers everywhere saying the same thing! Last week a couple of relatives that got the jab were tested positive for Covid.
    I think we are continuing down a path of deception and destruction!
    Wildrose Independence Party in 2023.

  11. westofsask@hotmail.com

    September 15, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Partly true. Most of the so called “unvaccinated “ are those that are still in the 2 weeks of getting their 1st shot. You’re likely to test positive when you’re producing spike proteins, so these people have a reaction to the shot and the criminals list them as covid

  12. Claudette Leece

    September 15, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Kenneys such a liar and Shandro just incompetant. Theynuse Isreal as their go to, it’s on its fourth shot, and the minute they implemented a third vaccine their two shot passport was invalid. Enjoy your ten shots before you can use your freedom pass. By the way not one small business I talked to wants to deal with these passports and many have said they will not enforce it. This will be the end of many small businesses in rural Alberta.

  13. Declan Carroll

    September 14, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Kenney is a liar and I am not going to comply with anymore illegal unconstitutional mandates. I don’t care what he says he is and illegitimate grifter.

  14. Station

    September 14, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    The government data used is already compromised, they are not being completely transparent with anything about Covid. No more lockdown Alberta…just kidding we are in lockdown…no vaxports…kidding again…better have them or else. When are the sheeple of this country going to wake up? This won’t make the comment section as I am always banned from saying anything.

  15. berta baby

    September 14, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Wow hold on there for a sec…. Real world stats and breaking down percentage rates? What is this witch craft you speak off?

    Covid is the most deadly virus in the history of human kind and requires all constitutional rights and freedoms permanently destroyed and consistent does’s of a substance that is referred to as a vaccine ….. those people the un vaxxed and their constant use of actual facts is disgusting and they should be kicked out of society and all their things given to vaccinated people who have the courage to be blindly obedient.

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Loophole benching minor hockey in Cochrane

Within hours of sending out the e-mail, Oaten confirmed between 30 and 40 kids had withdrawn from the program.




Although new restrictions announced this week allow for recreational sports to continue for youth under 18 without proof of vaccination, one minor detail is benching minor hockey players in Cochrane.

Thursday morning, Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) President Cory Oaten, was sent an e-mail from Hockey Alberta stating: “…based on Hockey Alberta’s interpretation of current information, minor hockey games and practices can continue, subject to the updated temporary measures that came into effect at 12:01 am this morning.”

However, Friday morning, Oaten was notified by his local facility, Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, it would be requiring proof of vaccination for those 12 and older entering the building.

That morning Oaten notified families registered with CMHA of the new requirement and included a provided statement from the facility and assured families the decision was not that of Hockey Alberta or CMHA.

“… all persons entering the Cochrane Arena or SLSFSC (ages 12+) must show proof of full vaccination, proof of a single dose as long as the dose was given more than two weeks ago, a negative test result or a medical doctor approved medical exemption.”

“Tonnes of kids are withdrawing,” Oaten said.

Within hours of sending out the e-mail, Oaten confirmed between 30 and 40 kids had withdrawn from the program.

“I’m not against the vaccines, but I’m pro-choice,” Oaten said.

The Western Standard spoke with one father who pulled his CMHA player as a result of the facility mandates. He requested to remain anonymous.

“Obviously the government is just passing the buck on this and it’s the businesses that are going to take the brunt,” he said.

A father of four children under the age of 12, he was also in line to coach his son’s team, but will not be permitted inside as he is not vaccinated.  

“We’re not the type of parents that are just going to drop our kids off at a facility and leave them unsupervised,” he said, adding those decisions effectively ended his kids’ participation in CMHA’s sports programs.

He said he also has concerns for the liability involved with those businesses being ill-equipped to manage peoples’ sensitive health records.

“Forget the legality of all this. Morally, we just can’t support businesses that take this approach.”

Alberta Country Singer and former health care worker at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Paul Brandt, took to Facebook on Friday to express his thoughts on the vaccine passport issue.  

Facebook post

“I want to be clear, I am not against vaccines,” his post confirms. “What is troubling to me is this: Why aren’t people who have had COVID and recovered being included in the conversation?”

Brandt’s son is a CMHA player. Both have recovered from COVID-19.

“Why are we not being recognized as people who have adequate immunity?

As of today, my son has also been told by the arena that hosts his hockey association he will not be allowed to participate in sports unless he is vaccinated—even though he has immunity to COVID-19, and is of no greater risk to his peers than anyone else.”

Oaten pointed out that players who have yet to be vaccinated will be eliminated from the important tryouts happening now and, because of wait times between doses and the 14-day waiting period to be considered fully vaccinated, many will miss a chunk of the season.

“It’s about the kids,” said an emotional Oaten.

“What makes me upset is kids are going to have to quit hockey because they don’t want to have to choose a medical procedure in order to play.”

Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard

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WS EXCLUSIVE: UCP vice-president calls for emergency meeting to initiate leadership review

“I think we need to carefully consider the option of initiating a leadership review. I believe the future of our party may be at stake.”




The Western Standard has obtained an email from the vice-president (policy) of Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) calling for an emergency meeting of the province-wide board of directors to discuss a leadership review of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Joel Mullan e-mailed the party’s board of directors at 8:33 pm MST September 17, under the subject line “Leadership review—request for meeting.”

“In light of events this past week, I believe we should meet and therefore request a meeting,” wrote Mullan.

“Specifically, I think we need to carefully consider the option of initiating a leadership review. I believe the future of our party may be at stake.”

The Western Standard spoke to a member of the party’s board of directors who received the e-mail who said—on condition of anonymity—a timely review of Kenney’s leadership has “become inevitable.”

As of publishing it’s not known if the request for an emergency meeting has been accepted by party president Ryan Becker or the board at large.

One day before, the Western Standard reported the UCP constituency association (CA) in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills voted almost unanimously to trigger a prompt leadership review of Kenney.

The party currently has a review scheduled for late 2022, but that could be within six months of the next election, and for local CA president Robert Smith, that’s not good enough.

By a vote of 27-1, the CA’s board voted to send a letter to the party demanding a review before that as soon as possible, but before next March, said Smith.

“We would love for it to happen tomorrow,” Smith told the Western Standard.

“In talking to people, mainly rural people, it’s fair to say we have no confidence in the premier.”

While the letter was sent on the heels of controversial new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions introduced by Kenney—including the imposition of a vaccine passport—Smith stressed the letter wasn’t as a result of that, but had been brewing for months.

But he said those restrictions could help the momentum to reach the mark of 22 ridings needed to spark a leadership review.

Smith said he gets a sense in talking to other constituency association leaders “critical mass of 22 ridings could have been reached now.

“I feel confident in saying that target can now be met. I’m surprised it hasn’t been met before,” he said.

Clockwise, Jason Nixon, Tyler Shandro, Jason Kenney, Travis Toews, and an unidentified guest on the rooftop patio of the “Sky Palace”

One of the biggest concerns for the board was when the now infamous pictures f Kenney holding an outdoor dinner on the balcony of the “Sky Palace”—in contravention of the government’s of laws, regulations, and guidelines—were published.

“The entitlement and the double standard incensed the board,” said Smith.

In April, a UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney will be the subject of an early party leadership review.

“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who spoke with the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity.

The Western Standard reported earlier there are at least eight ridings now on board for a review.

Even earlier this week there were signs of dissension with the UCP Caucus.

During a tense meeting of caucus Tuesday, three MLAs told Kenney they had “no confidence” in his continued premiership of the province and leadership of the party, multiple sources told the Western Standard.

Sources inside of the caucus told the Western Standard the emergency meeting saw sharp polarization around the issues of putting the province under another lockdown, a potential mandatory vaccine passport, and firing healthcare workers who did not agree to be vaccinated.

According to the MLAs who attended the caucus meeting, three MLAs openly told Kenney they had “no confidence” in him, and several others implied as much using softer language.

The sources all gave the same three names, but none of the three MLAs responded to request for comment or confirmation from the Western Standard.

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THOMSON: An Alberta solution to the drug poisoning crisis

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.




Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.

Drug poisoning is the leading cause of death among working-age Albertans, claiming more than 1,800 Albertan lives since the beginning of 2020. Almost all of these people were between the ages of 15 and 60, and people in the trades are vastly overrepresented.

These tragedies are more accurately called poisonings because people typically cannot be certain what they’re taking when they consume illegal drugs. Surviving through an unregulated drug supply is its own small miracle, particularly as elephant-strength synthetic opioids like carfentanil now slip through our sieve-like borders.

Let’s face it: synthetic opioids have extinguished any hope of “winning” the war on drugs, given the entire 2016 American fentanyl supply could fit into a dozen oil drums.

Albertans are free thinkers, and this crisis calls for a made-in-Alberta solution that centres personal autonomy, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, and a healthy irreverence toward federal power. A century into drug prohibition with nothing to show but accelerating body counts, it is time to regain control through a regulated market.

The idea that in a regulated market, we would walk into corner stores and find crystal meth between the Mentos and Tic Tacs would be laughable if it wasn’t so widely cited. For experimenting adolescents, alcohol is at least as hard to obtain as illegal drugs precisely because its access is controlled—a distinction that also encourages open conversations and harm reduction measures. We can implement regulatory barriers as needed to keep kids safe, but only once we control the supply. For adults, the question is much simpler: shouldn’t we be allowed to put what we want in our bodies?

Decriminalization is the first step toward a legal market. Since decriminalizing drugs 20 years ago, Portugal has among the lowest youth drug use rates in Europe and effectively left its drug poisoning crisis behind. Our federal parties are short on details around their vision for ending Canada’s crisis, but the Western Standard Editorial Board recently gave the federal NDP’s platform section on drug policy the only A-grade for endorsing decriminalization and other measures emphasizing personal autonomy and freedom from harassment by authorities. (For the record, it was one of the only high-scoring parts of the NDP platform from the Western Standard.)

It turns out, people across the political spectrum agree after a hundred years, criminalization has failed to even slow down drug use, let alone end it.

While personal autonomy and market philosophy are intuitive drug policy cornerstones, the fiscal argument is at least as compelling. The Cato Institute reports ending the War on Drugs would eliminate $27 billion USD a year from American enforcement budgets and siphon $40 billion a year from organized crime. For Canada, this translates to billions cut from our enforcement, judicial and incarceration balance sheet and billions added to taxable sales. Meanwhile, reducing hospital visits due to drug poisonings could single-handedly solve the chronic ambulance shortages squeezing our emergency response capacity.

A regulated drug supply is the best deal on offer to shrink public health costs and enforcement budgets and repossess the drug market from organized crime syndicates, while creating good jobs and preserving the lives of thousands of working-age Albertans.

How can we propel this plan against the drag of federal inaction?

First, set up a province-wide exemption from Section 56 of the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to abolish police enforcement of drug possession laws.

Next, support Albertan pilot projects to prescribe safe supply options to encourage more widespread access and choke off the demand for a street supply. Non-profit compassion clubs would cover those who cannot afford their prescriptions, as we saw during cannabis prohibition.

Finally, establish the first provincial Section 55 exemption to allow for drug manufacturing and distribution here at home, a move that would instantly benefit a Lethbridge-based operation and their partners in the nearby Blood Tribe. Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis already looks after compliance for legal drugs; we can apply similar stringency around labelling on the new products so people know what they’re taking.

Then watch as other provinces struggling with the same crisis adopt this updated, evidence-based Alberta Model; one that aligns compassion for people who use drugs with core values shared by so many in this province: personal autonomy, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility.

While we’re at it, we can thumb our collective nose at a century of bad federal policy—all together, on brand for Alberta.

Tell your local federal and municipal candidates, as well as your provincial MLA, you want to see your values reflected in our drug policies.

Dr. Euan Thomson is an entrepreneur, scientist and director of EACH+EVERY, a coalition of over 100 Alberta businesses calling for policy action to end the overdose crisis.

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