Chatham-Kent ranked #1 for doses administered per capita

·2 min read

When it comes to vaccinating its population against COVID-19, Chatham-Kent is the best in Canada.

According to its Medical Officer of Health, the region is ranked number one among Ontario’s 34 public health units in doses administered per capita.

As of March 9, Chatham-Kent had delivered 9,451 doses per 100,000 residents. The region has a population of 106,317, according to Public Health Ontario.

Middlesex-London was second at 8,844 while Windsor-Essex was sixth at 7,675.

According to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, about 10 percent of the local population has been given at least one dose of the vaccine.

Despite Chatham-Kent receiving its vaccine supply about six weeks after many other public health units, more than 11,500 residents have been given a shot as of March 11. Colby said the mass vaccination clinic at the John Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham was averaging roughly 1,200 doses a day during the first week of injections.

“Our little community has once again hit the ball out of the park,” said Colby. “It’s really important that everybody get behind this effort to get as many first doses, which is the one where you get most of the beneficial effects of the vaccine, into people as soon as possible.”

Lori Marshall, CEO of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, congratulated the public health unit, area paramedics and the hospital for joining forces to run the vaccination clinic.

“There is a shared mission, with that is a commitment to deliver vaccines into the arms of the residents of Chatham-Kent,” said Marshall. “I’m just so delighted today on the anniversary of the pandemic having been declared by the World Health Organization to have such hopeful news for our community.”

March 11, 2021, marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chatham-Kent had nine deaths linked to COVID-19 this past year, while more than 7,000 people died in Ontario, and more than 22,000 passed away in Canada.

According to Mayor Darrin Canniff, being ranked at the top is a great example of how well Chatham-Kent comes together.

“That is fantastic news and really shines well on our community,” said Canniff.

He also preached the importance of employers as flexible as possible when employees need time off to be vaccinated.

Colby echoed Canniff - adding Canada has a longstanding democratic tradition that allows us to get time off work to vote, preaching its importance.

“When people get scheduled, I would plead with all the employers across Chatham-Kent, let your employees go when they get an appointment. It’s better for your firm, it’s better for them, it’s better for you, it’s better for all of us,” said Colby. “It’s (pandemic) not over by a long shot.”

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News