Vaccination rates slowly improving in Cornwall, says region's top doctor

·2 min read
Eastern Ontario health officials say vaccination rates in Cornwall are slowly improving, but there's still a lot of work to do. (Stu Mills/CBC - image credit)
Eastern Ontario health officials say vaccination rates in Cornwall are slowly improving, but there's still a lot of work to do. (Stu Mills/CBC - image credit)

As Cornwall, Ont. continues to grapple with some of the lowest vaccination rates in the province, regional health officials say the situation seems to be slowly improving.

According to the latest data from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), areas of the city have reached 72 per cent of fully vaccinated residents, up from 69 per cent a week ago.

After seeing some of the highest positivity rates in Ontario, which resulted in the Cornwall Community Hospital temporarily suspending non-urgent surgeries, the uptick in vaccinations is an encouraging sign for health officials.

Still, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said there's a lot of work being done to try and get more eligible residents to roll up their sleeves. Cornwall remains far behind the rest of the region, which has 86 per cent of eligible people fully vaccinated.

"It's a hard, hard last mile," Roumeliotis told reporters during a media briefing Wednesday.

"We do have a bit more work to do, but we're going to continue. We have a steadfast commitment to that population."

'Slow but sure increase'

Some of those efforts include a walk-in vaccine clinic in Cornwall Square, a mall in the heart of the city's downtown. Roumeliotis said that clinic is seeing between 50 and 200 people in a day.

There are also a number clinics located in community centres, churches, schools and other areas to make the vaccine as accessible as possible, he said.

EOHU is working with a number of agencies to keep residents informed of where they can be vaccinated.

"We're getting a slow but sure increase in those numbers. It's very hard to. I wish I could do it quicker, but I don't think there's another way of reaching them."

While he wants to see the city reach a goal of 90 per cent fully vaccinated residents like the rest of the region, Roumeliotis said he would be happy if Cornwall surpassed 85 per cent.

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