The gap continues to narrow as the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit works towards reaching vaccination targets.
1,607 first doses are needed in residents 12 and up to reach 80 percent, while 5,581 individuals need to receive their second dose to reach 75 percent.
“I absolutely think that they are attainable,” says Andrea McLellan, Director of COVID-19 Immunization Strategy. “I think it will take us a little bit longer than it would have had we been immunizing the numbers that we’ve been seeing throughout mass immunization clinics, but I do think over the course of the next couple of weeks we will hit those targets.”
Smaller venues and pop-up clinics are the main focus now.
“We are absolutely seeing positive results from these smaller clinics,” McLellan says. “I strongly do feel that a number of these people are people who may not have been able to get to our mass immunization clinics and may not have been able to access (the) vaccine otherwise. That is why we are trying to get out into the smaller locations and smaller communities to ensure people do have access to the vaccine.”
The Health Unit is also planning school-based vaccination clinics for September, with a planning session on Friday with the school boards.
Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health, is thanking the district for their work in helping to keep COVID-19 case numbers low.
He says our Health Unit has the second-lowest cumulative rate of COVID-19 in the province.
He was also asked if he would endorse proof of vaccinations for entertainment and sports venues.
“No, I think it would not be something at this time that we’d consider or be in favour of doing in our district,” Chirico says.
He says it’s on the minds of a lot of people and if it’s going to happen it needs to be done provincially.
Locally, Chirico is encouraging people to get vaccinated and do risk assessments for themselves and the venues they’re going to.
“I think it’s very important that people do get vaccinated. That’s the best protection and following public health measures,” he says.
The Health Unit says 83 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days were in people who were not fully vaccinated.