As the province sits on the brink of initiating its reopening plan, the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) recently marked the 100,000 milestone in administering the COVID-19 vaccine to residents of Grey Bruce.
The health unit reported that it has administered 102,898 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of June 3.
“It is no small feat to administer vaccines at the rates they have been embraced by the people of Grey and Bruce counties,” said Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health for GBHU, in a news release.
”The targeted clinics, and in particular the Hockey Hub model, are examples of how the GBHU gets the vaccine to the community as it strives to be the centre of excellence for rural public health,” he continued.
Overall, the health unit is reporting that 64 per cent of residents, aged 12 and older, have received their first dose of the vaccine. In comparison, the provincial average of all people in Ontario to have received at least one dose was 59.49 per cent as of June 4.
“The younger age groups are eager to receive the vaccine and their numbers are increasing rapidly to reflect their more recent eligibility; whereas older age groups have been eligible for a longer period and thus more likely to have received the vaccine,” Arra noted.
Of the 64 per cent to have received the first dose, 7.1 per cent of those individuals have also received their second dose.
Arra added that this is a tremendous milestone that was made possible through the continuing effort of the public, volunteers, frontline workers, local government and the GBHU team.
The milestone comes at a critical time as the province begins to ease into its reopening plan, beginning with lifting the stay-at-home order on June 2.
And while the region’s officials are ‘cautiously welcoming’ back cottagers and visitors, the Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) mayor urges the public to continue to be vigilant with COVID-19 safety measures - even if they have received their first dose.
“We have a high first-dose vaccination rate, but a lot of us haven't had the second dose yet. So I know myself, I'm being careful and I urge everybody to do the same,” said TBM Mayor Alar Soever.
“We've done so well for so long. I know everybody wants to get out and meet people and do things, but you can still do that with small groups and do it outside and keep your distance. It'd be a shame for someone to get ill at this point when we're so close to getting the second dose distributed.”
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca