'Full steam ahead:' 6,000 people receive COVID-19 vaccine in Chatham-Kent

·2 min read
The vaccine clinic at John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham opened late last month. (Talish Zafar/CBC - image credit)
The vaccine clinic at John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham opened late last month. (Talish Zafar/CBC - image credit)

In Chatham-Kent, about 6,000 people have received a COVID-19 shot, according to Dr. David Colby, the medical officer of health.

Vaccines have already been rolled out at high-risk seniors' homes, and health-care workers started receiving shots at a clinic that opened late last month.

Chatham-Kent is now moving to vaccinate seniors 80 and older who live in the community. It began on Saturday, and Colby thinks first doses can be finished within a week or two.

About 2,500 people were vaccinated at clinics on the weekend and Monday.

The intention is to go "full steam ahead" and make sure the vaccine supply is used quickly, he said.

"We've got enough vaccine to keep our clinic going, so we'll just keep on with that," he said in an interview with CBC Radio's Windsor Morning.

"And if we run out before our next shipment, well that just means we've been very good at getting it into people's arms."

Dr. David Colby is the medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent.
Dr. David Colby is the medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent.(CK Public Health/YouTube)

The vaccination roll-out for 80-plus seniors comes at a time when case counts in the municipality have plummeted.

There were 13 active COVID-19 cases, as of Tuesday.

No COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, and an outbreak at the Fairfield Park long-term care home in Wallaceburg involving 100 cases has been resolved.

The numbers have been so low in recent weeks that Colby said last week it was possible for Chatham-Kent to drop multiple steps on the province's colour-coded pandemic framework.

However, it was only moved from the red zone to orange on Monday.

Colby said the decision is understandable, given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 variants of concern.

"We don't want to be too different than our neighbours," he said in reference to other municipalities in the region. "We've been trying to send a general message that we're still having a problem with COVID, despite all the optimism about the vaccine rollout. But people really need to stay home and stay safe and avoid crowds."