COVID-19 vaccine coming via home delivery for some residents

·2 min read

For some Chatham-Kent residents who can’t make it to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, the vaccine will come to them.

Local health officials plan to visit elderly and medically vulnerable people who want to be vaccinated but can’t make their way out to the Chatham clinic at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre.

“We’re mobilizing an outreach team within the next few days to be able to vaccinate the eligible housebound,” said Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Colby. “There are people who, for example, are over 80 years old who can’t get into the Bradley Clinic to be vaccinated.”

Colby said it was asked that the primary-care providers in Chatham-Kent identify those people in order to make sure they want to get vaccinated. He added a team would be sent out to vaccinate them.

“We’re really working very hard to get especially the vulnerable people in Chatham-Kent vaccinated. We’re moving towards that final goal of getting everybody that wants to be vaccinated can get vaccinated before the summer,” said Colby.

Nearly 19,000 people in Chatham-Kent have received a COVID-19 vaccine, and Colby added 85 percent of the 80 and older age group had been vaccinated. According to the region’s top doctor, the vaccine uptake is about 85 percent in local residents who are 80 years old and older.

“If we can keep that up as we move down the age cohorts of eligibility, I will be a very, very happy man indeed,” said Colby.

The province is aiming for a total of between 70 and 80 percent of the population getting their COVID-19 shots to get “herd immunity,” the portion required to prevent the spread of the virus. However, Colby added that estimates are only estimates, and we must wait to see what the final numbers show.

In the meantime, Colby believes Chatham-Kent will remain in the Red-Control level of Ontario’s Framework, based on the current numbers and historical data. He said the current numbers have plateaued, and the province hasn’t told him anything different.

“Just looking at the patterns over the last year, we often see sharp rises in our active cases when things are going on and then they level off, and then they start to decrease again,” he said. “It’s been kind of a cyclical thing as we are on this roller coaster.”

As of Friday, March 26, there are 97 active cases in Chatham-Kent.

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