It may be a good thing that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is expanding throughout North Durham as more vaccination centres open up around the region, because North Durham case counts are again experiencing an upward swing.
It was announced earlier this week that people 75 years of age (or turning 75 in 2021) are now eligible to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Just as booking opened for those 80 plus last week, those 75 and older can now book through the regional vaccination portal.
The region is also opening up more vaccination centres, including the clinic that will be rotating through Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock townships. The Uxbridge clinic, at the Uxbridge Arena (as pictured), will be opening on Monday, March 29, and will be poking eligible arms for two days and then moving to Scugog for two days, then over to Brock. The two day cycle will then, depending on vaccine availability, begin again.
Appointments must be made for the Uxbridge vaccination centre, as those looking for walk-in vaccination opportunities will not be admitted.
Booking slots for regional vaccine clinics will be updated daily, so residents are asked to keep checking back if no appointments appear to be available at that time. To book, visit www.durhamvaccinebooking.ca Alternatively, those without internet access can call 1-888-444-5113.
Additionally, starting on March 22, select pharmacies began administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to those 60 years of age and older. At this time, vaccine supply is still limited so vaccine availability in pharmacies will vary. To find a pharmacy that is administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations
As vaccines are ramping up, so seem to be the number of positive COVID cases in the region. Monday and Tuesday of this week saw a slight drop in the number of positive cases in the province; however the positivity rate increased to almost six per cent for Tuesday.
Over the weekend, Durham Region saw daily positive cases rise to over 100 and Uxbridge broke its streak of one single case by quickly reaching 12 positive cases by Tuesday. While the increase in vaccination is providing hope, healthcare officials are urging everyone to continue observing all safety protocols a little longer.
Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos