Sixteen months and more than 56,000 doses later, Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) in Simcoe will close its COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Friday.
The clinic, which opened in February 2021, “has been essential and critical to the success of the vaccine rollout in Haldimand-Norfolk,” said NGH interim president and CEO Kim Mullins, noting roughly 25 per cent of all COVID-19 vaccine shots in the two counties were administered at NGH.
“Thanks to the support of the entire vaccination team, we’ve been able to successfully bring vaccines to thousands of people in our communities,” Mullins said in a press release.
The move comes as demand for vaccination has again fallen in Haldimand and Norfolk. After an uptick in April and May, the health unit reported an average of 527 shots administered weekly since May 30.
According to the latest figures, 82 per cent of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine, while 18 per cent of residents are unvaccinated.
Two Haldimand-Norfolk residents are currently in hospital with COVID-19, with one in the ICU. It is not known whether COVID-19 is the reason they were hospitalized.
Almost a third of local residents in their teens and 20s have chosen not to get the shot, while 60 per cent of children ages five to 11 are still unvaccinated.
Last month, acting medical officer of health Dr. Matt Strauss said fully vaccinated residents could resume their usual activities without fear of the virus.
“If you’re a healthy 25-year-old who’s fully vaccinated and you get COVID-19, the treatment is chicken noodle soup and ginger ale,” Strauss told the local board of health.
But he said unvaccinated residents, particularly those who are elderly or have other medical issues, still need to evaluate their personal risk factors and seek out testing and treatment if they feel ill.
On June 7, Strauss told the health board he does not expect any upticks of the virus until the weather cools.
“COVID-19 is receding as a matter of public health concern both locally and worldwide,” Strauss said.
J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator