C-K ranks first in vaccine delivery

·2 min read

On the one-year anniversary of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Chatham-Kent achieved a remarkable milestone.

The municipality was number one in all of Canada for having the most residents vaccinated per capita.

As of Friday, approximately 10 per cent of Chatham-Kent’s 106,317 citizens had received the shot with around 12,000 shots of the first dose given.

Mayor Darrin Canniff revealed the good news at a municipal press conference, crediting the local health team and local citizens on the achievement.

“Our little community has once again hit the ball out of the park,” Dr. David Colby says.

“We’re not boasting, we’re just very happy with our progress.”

Both Canniff and Colby took the opportunity to urge local employers t to allow employees time off to be vaccinated.

“Employers need to be flexible in allowing workers to get the shot,” Canniff says.

“The sooner we get everyone vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to some form of normalcy.”

Colby compared getting the shot to the long-standing democratic tradition of allowing employees time off to vote, stressing the shot is significant.

“It’s important that employees get time off to get vaccinated,” Colby says. “It’s the only way to get the pandemic licked.”

Colby says the goal is to achieve herd immunity, with a target of immunizing around 65,000 local citizens.

But even with the good news of ranking first, Colby says it’s not time for people to relax safety protocols, adding the need to wear masks, sanitize and physically distance continues.

He also cited indoor gatherings as the main cause of the recent uptick in cases and advised people to re-think their activities.

"It's not the time for that," Colby says.

While not close to the chart-topping rates of nearby municipalities, Chatham-Kent’s COVID-19 cases are again climbing.

A total of Xx cases were reported Monday with XXX outbreaks.

Only three weeks ago, there were only 11 cases and no outbreaks in the municipality.

Colby says residents need to be vigilant about the spread of more easily transmissible variant strains of COVID-19.

He says there is “no doubt” they will arrive in Chatham-Kent.

However, he says, all of the current vaccines are effecting in combatting the mutant strains of the virus.

The Ministry of Health is also planning to roll out vaccinations at pharmacies and doctor’s offices, with pilot projects now underway in three cities, including Windsor.

Colby says this will also be offered in Chatham-Kent possibly as early as this week.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald