EOHU urges those with one dose to get their second for “full protection” from the virus

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Fully vaccinated rate drops to 79.4% as eligible population expands to include 5- to 11-year-olds in EOHU

Omicron not mentioned

CORNWALL — The Eastern Ontario Heath Unit (EOHU) is urging everyone with a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to get their second jab as soon as possible. In a statement released Friday, the EOHU notes that two doses of the vaccine, eight weeks apart, are needed to be “fully protected from the virus.” While adding this “includes the Delta variant,” no mention is made of the latest variant, Omicron, that has spooked the global community as the week concluded

Canada and other countries have suspended incoming flights from South Africa, where the new variant — reported to be more contagious and still under investigation for possible vaccine resistance— recently emerged. The neighbouring jurisdiction of New York has declared a state of emergency in preparation for the variant’s arrival. Pfizer is reported to be ready to launch an updated version of its vaccine in 100 days should Omicron prove resistant to the current formula.

“I’m asking all individuals who are partially vaccinated to get their second dose as this will put the odds of avoiding any serious outcomes from the virus in their favour,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “Looking at the statistics, the benefits of being fully vaccinated are clear. Most of the cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths are occurring in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals.”

While vaccination appointments can be booked at www.Ontario.ca/bookvaccine, jabs are also available on a walk-in basis at one of the EOHU’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Those requiring assistance with booking can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Those needing special accommodations may call the EOHU at 1-800-267-7120.

Meanwhile, the EOHU is now a few days into the rollout of the vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 after that group became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Expanding the eligible age range of the population has had the effect of dropping the region’s reported vaccination rate. Where the EOHU’s eligible vaccination rate stood at over 87% three weeks ago, it’s now down to 79.4% today with the addition of this younger age group to the pool. Roumeliotis will take part in a Nov. 29 livestream with MPP Jim McDonell on the child vaccination topic, and again Dec. 1 with MP Francis Drouin.

Roumeliotis delivered a Nov. 22 update on the pandemic, including an overview on the child vaccination plan (below). Those jabs for kids ages 5 to 11 were slated to begin Nov. 25.

 

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