CORNWALL – Nearly two months after vaccinations were opened to anyone under the age of 30, this region continues to trail getting shots into arms.
According to data from Ontario’s Ministry of Health, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region sits 26 out of the 34 public health units for first dose vaccinations with people age 18-29. Only 59.5 per cent of residents in that age group have received their first dose.
For second dose vaccinations, the number is even lower. The EOHU region ranked 31 out of 34 in that same age group at just 38 per cent. In comparison, Ottawa has the fifth-highest first dose vaccination rate at 71.7 per cent, and seventh-highest second dose at 52.8 per cent in the 18-29 age group.
Youth 12-17 in the EOHU region also lag behind other areas of the province. The region is 22 out of 34 in first dose vaccinations for that age group (58 per cent) and 31 out of 34 for second dose vaccinations (26.5 per cent). Ottawa has the highest first dose vaccination rate of 76 per cent, and is third for second dose vaccinations at 47.4 per cent.
Two COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been scheduled for Morrisburg this month by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. The clinics, which are set for August 12 and August 19, are the first clinics to be held by the health unit in South Dundas since June. They are likely to be the last mass-immunization clinics as well. The EOHU is one of several health units that are winding down their current mass-immunization clinics in August as more and more people in the province have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
As of August 2, the EOHU was 170 doses away from reaching the provincial target of 80 per cent of people 12 years old and older having a single vaccine dose. The health unit is 13,300 people shy of the provincial 75 per cent target for second dose vaccination in people 12 years old and older. August 27 is the last scheduled day for health unit-run mass-immunization clinics.
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the EOHU said that it is looking at more small-scale and targeted vaccination clinics for areas where access to a clinic has been more difficult, or where transportation is an issue. No details of those clinics have been released by the health unit.
While the EOHU is shutting down its mass-vaccination sites, doses of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available at local pharmacies. Both Gilmer Pharmacy in Iroquois and Seaway Valley PharmaChoice in Morrisburg offer vaccination appointments, as do many primary-care physicians and medical clinics.
Due to the Civic Holiday, no local update case numbers were available.
On July 30, there were 13 active COVID-19 infections in the local health unit.
No active cases were in SDG Counties.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader