A new milestone vaccination has been hit in Chatham-Kent.
The continued vaccination efforts have led to 80 percent of those eligible in the municipality to be fully vaccinated, while 85 percent have now received at least one dose.
“Our active cases are dropping once again,” said Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical officer of Health. “We are only 3.4 percent behind the province. We’re narrowing the gap between the vaccination rate in the province at large in Chatham-Kent.
Despite hitting this milestone, vaccination rates in younger residents continue to remain behind older age groups. As of October 29, only 66 percent of those in the 12-17 age group have been fully vaccinated while 63 percent of those 18-29 have been given both shots.
While active cases are dropping, the region’s top administrator Don Shropshire said he still wants to promote vaccinations as Chatham-Kent has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the province.
“I would hate to get to a point where the rest of the province is opening up, and we’re still required to wear masks or maintain regulations because we still haven’t produced the sort of results that the rest of the provinces had,” he said. “I don’t think we should be doing anything with any of our regulations that in any way is going to restrict what’s required to do to keep our community safe.”
Last week Covid-19 claimed the life of a young woman in Chatham-Kent.
Chatham-Kent Public Health reported the latest death linked to the virus on October 27, bringing the total number of local residents who have died from COVID-19 to 23.
According to Jeff Moco of the health unit’s communications team, the woman in her 30s passed away at London Health Sciences Centre. It’s unknown if she was vaccinated against the virus.
Since July 1, 73 percent of reported Covid-19 cases in CK have been in unvaccinated individuals. Roughly 13 percent have either been partially vaccinated, not yet fully protected or with undetermined vaccination status, and roughly 15 percent have been fully vaccinated.
Additionally, the number of COVID-19 patients at the hospital in Chatham is also staying low. The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance reported three residents are being treated, but none are on a ventilator.
As of October 28. the number of active Covid-19 cases in Chatham-Kent dropped by seven, bringing the active case number to 58.
Colby said his best advice to keep everybody safe is to get vaccinated if they aren’t already vaccinated against the virus.
“There is a 36 times greater chance of dying while being unvaccinated,” said Colby. “The vaccine is very safe and very effective, free and widely available. What are people waiting for?”
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News