Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab gave a look at the December COVID-19 breakthrough cases during a Provincial Emergency Operations Centre technical briefing this week. 

The statistics showed that, of 4,621 cases in December, 1,289 were considered unvaccinated, 79 were vaccinated with one dose, 2,804 were vaccinated with two doses, and 362 were vaccinated with a booster shot. 

Of those with a second dose, 8.9 per cent had comorbid conditions, and 5.7 per cent of cases were people 65 years of age and older. 

Meanwhile, of the cases that had a booster dose, 17.4 per cent had underlying health conditions, and 24.3 per cent were 65 years and older.  

The statistics looked at 65 hospitalizations in December. Twenty-six were unvaccinated, five had their first dose, 27 had their second dose, and seven has a booster dose. Of those new cases, 3.1 per cent were less than five years of age and 40 per cent were 65 and older. 

Of those hospitalized with their second dose, the majority either had a comorbid condition or were 65 years and older. 

“Many hospitalizations continue to be due to COVID-related illness, as well as COVID complicating other underlying clinical conditions and complex chronic diseases,” Shahab said. 

ICU admissions told a similar story. Out of 15 ICU admissions, 10 were unvaccinated, three had their second dose and two had a booster shot. None of the ICU cases were less than 20 years old. 

Out of seven deaths that were looked at in December, four were unvaccinated and three had their second dose. Of these cases, 57.1 percent were 65 and older, and 71.4 percent had at least one comorbid condition. 

Shahab added that with Omicron it is even more important to get your booster dose. 

“Generally, a booster dose does reduce transmission risk and getting a mild illness for at least 4 to 8 weeks. But if you had just the two doses and haven't had a booster yet, your risk of even getting a mild illness is the same as if you were unvaccinated,” he said. 

Shahab said he will continue to give monthly updates on breakthrough cases as the Omicron variant makes its way through the province.