Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) Public Health has nearly reached 80 per cent of the adult population with a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – now officials say they’re focused on those who are still on the fence.
“We need to get people that are still trying to figure out whether or not they want to get vaccinated, to step up and get vaccinated,” said Rita Isley, director of community health. “This is also the population that if they are having a hard time finding a clinic, if they’re having a hard time access a clinic, or they are in a situation where they’re not quite sure, we’re asking them to either call or show up at one of the clinics.
WDG Public Health reported that on the day of July 5 4,476 COVID-19 vaccines were administered, with 4,052 of those being second doses and 424 first doses. Some 116,000 residents over the age of 12 are considered fully vaccinated to date, equal to 43.1 per cent of the eligible population.
In Dufferin County, 73.3 per cent of the eligible population is partially vaccinated.
With Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region considered a hotspot for the Delta variant, Isley noted the urgency for unvaccinated residents.
“Getting vaccinated doesn’t prevent you from getting COVID-19, it’s not 100 per cent but it is really high. The other part of it is that getting vaccinated will stop you from going into the hospital, or having some really significant illness.”
The efficacy of the mRNA vaccine against the Delta variant is 80 percent.
“That still leaves 20 per cent but what it means is that the 20 percent that are vaccinated, if they come in contact with the Delta variant, they’re going to be able to recover.”
As of Monday (July 5) Ontarians aged 12-17 are allowed to book their second dose earlier.
“Unfortunate, what we’re seeing with the youth is no different than in our general population. There’s a section of our youth that still haven’t got their vaccines. It could be related to the fact that their parents haven’t been vaccinated or they’re not able to get access to a clinic,” said Isley.
While supply of vaccines was an early issue in the distribution of doses, Isley says the health unit now has enough to last throughout the month of July.
“We have enough vaccines to be able to do second doses on everyone that we’ve already given first does to, and we’re also able to continue to do first doses,” said Isley.
With COVID-19 vaccine doses no longer prioritized for certain groups and all Ontarians eligible to receive it, Public Health is setting the target bar higher.
“We would like to see closer to 90 percent of our population vaccinated with one dose and we would like to see the per cent that have been vaccinated as of today to have their second dosses in their arms by the end of July,” said Isley.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press