Chatham-Kent is nearing a major COVID-19 milestone.
The milestone, having Chatham-Kent hit 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered, is on the horizon.
As of Friday, June 2, there have been 98,951 doses administered in Chatham-Kent. More than 66,900 residents 12 and older have received at least one dose, while 34,300 residents have received both shots. This means 74 percent of the Chatham-Kent population have received at least one dose, and 40 percent have received two doses. Additionally, 45 percent of youth aged 12-17 have received at least one dose.
The strong vaccination efforts have led to Chatham-kent hitting an eight-month low. Active COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent have been in the single digits for more than two weeks.
While the total has grown, it is still in the single digits. There were six active cases as of July 1.
Despite the number of active cases remaining low, Dr. David Colby, Medical Officer of Health for Chatham-Kent, said it is important to remain vigilant and get vaccinated. He added the vaccines are very safe.
“Please look at the science. These vaccines are so thoroughly tested and evaluated, and that evaluation is going on all the time,” said Colby.
The region’s top doctor said he is hoping the number of vaccinated youth increases over the next few months. He added he would like to see as many youths as possible in Chatham-Kent be fully vaccinated before school starts back up in September.
As it stands, roughly 60 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 across Canada have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, Colby said as of June 2, only 44 percent of Chatham-Kent residents aged 12-17 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We need to get that number doubled in short order,” he said. “I would encourage everyone to get those kids in and get vaccinated. ”
Colby said the local public health unit is working to address the issue and has been coming up with different ways to reach younger people in Chatham-Kent.
“We use youth-oriented messages to try and reach them, social media and the kind of things that youth do,” said Colby. “Hopefully, they’ll get the message and come in.
He added Chatham-Kent doesn’t need any large segments of the population left vulnerable.
“We haven’t seen any of the Delta variants in Chatham-Kent yet, but it’s far more transmissible than what we’ve been dealing with,” added Colby.
To book an appointment, go to Getyourshotck.ca or call 519-351-1010 and leave a message. It may take up to seven days to receive a return call.
Some pharmacies and primary-care offices are also offering vaccinations. Go to the public health unit’s website (ckphu.com/covid-19-vaccines) for more information on pharmacies or call your primary care provider.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News