72% of adults in our area have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

That’s according to Andrea McLellan, Director of COVID-19 Immunization Strategy for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

McLellan adds that 15% of adults are also fully immunized, and 41% of youth aged 12-17 have also received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

As of yesterday at 3 pm, nearly 94,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in our district.

When asked if she expected our region to hit those rates as of mid-June, McLellan said it’s a tough question to answer.

“Had I hoped we would be? Absolutely,” she said. “Did I think we would be? That depended totally on vaccine supply. I’m very pleased that we are where we are. The uptake has been great. The support from the community and the turnout at our clinics has been great. I think it’s been very helpful having vaccines available through our mass immunization clinics, through the pharmacy channel, through primary care channel, through a number of community partners who are working with us to help us to distribute vaccines to eligible individuals. I think everyone working together is the reason we’re at 72%”

Dr. Chirico, our area’s Medical Officer of Health, said it’s expected to ‘hit a wall’ when it comes to vaccination rates across the district, though a plan is in place to reach the remaining people.
“I think that it is anticipated that you are going to [hit a wall]. You’re going to reach the level where you do have it trailing off. You can’t expect that 100% of the population will be vaccinated,” said Dr. Chirico.

The Health Unit said that doesn’t mean it will stop continuing to advocate for people to get their first and second dose.

“We’re still promoting to get vaccinated. We’re making first doses available with the clinics. We’re going to be having more vaccine anticipating to be coming, and so, people who haven’t had a chance, or may have changed their minds about getting vaccinated, the opportunity is still there,” said Dr. Chirico.
Chirico added that the Health Unit will continue having both social media and traditional media campaigns for people to get their shot.

McLellan also added that the Health Unit is starting pull demographic data, to see if they have pockets in the district where uptake has been lower. They will then work with those communities to try and identify strategies to increase access and identify barriers to immunization “to make sure everyone’s had access to the vaccine”.