As the province moves into the third stage of its reopening framework, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is launching a region-wide challenge to “aim high and stay low”.
“This means getting vaccination rates as high as possible and keeping COVID-19 cases as low as possible,” the health unit said in a statement Friday.
“The way out of Stage Three requires low case counts and vaccination rates for Ontarians aged 12 and over of at least 80 percent for one dose and 75 percent for two doses. No public health unit can have a two dose rate lower than 70%.
The rates for Public Health Sudbury & Districts are currently 79% for one dose and 60.9% for two doses.
In light of the spread of the more infectious Delta variant in Ontario, Public Health is issuing a challenge to help the province go even further.
The goal is to aim for 90 percent of people aged 12 and over to be fully immunized.
“We appeal to all who still need a first dose and to all who are due for a second dose,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe.
“What are you waiting for?”
Dr Sutcliffe is urging residents to book their vaccine appointments now or come to one of the area’s walk-in, pop-up or mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
“We are so lucky that vaccine supply is no longer a problem. We plan to have enough vaccines to deliver two doses to each eligible person in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts by the end of August, ”she said.
“And if you already have your two doses – good news – you can still help by talking to your family, friends and neighbors about their motivation for the vaccination.”
While local vaccination rates have reduced the number of new cases reported, the virus remains a threat.
The Delta variant is the most common virus strain circulating in Ontario. It is more transmissible and causes more serious diseases. The vaccine is also less effective against this variant, requiring two doses for a protective immune response.
“Because the Delta variant of the virus is more transmissible, vaccination rates should be as high as possible,” said Dr Sutcliffe.
“High vaccination rates mean we will be less dependent on other measures to keep us safe, such as distancing, masking and limits at our favorite stores, theaters, gyms and restaurants. The recent increases in cases in the Waterloo and Gray Bruce areas are a reminder of how quickly things can change. “
There are certain populations – based on medical conditions or age, for example – that cannot get vaccinated or will not be fully protected if they are.
The health unit reminds everyone that it is up to those of us who can be vaccinated to protect others.
“The provincial online reservation system for COVID-19 vaccination automatically makes an appointment for the second dose 112 days (16 weeks) after the first dose,” the health unit said.
“This second dose appointment is not valid. Individuals should make an appointment for their second dose after receiving their first dose. There are enough vaccines to mean that the 112 day wait for the second dose is no longer necessary. “
Over the next few weeks, public health will notify clients of the cancellation of their initial 112-day appointment for the automatically scheduled second dose. This notification will be by email and automated call.
People should make an appointment for the second dose after receiving their first dose – this cannot be done until they have received the first dose.
Visit www.covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or call 750-674-2299 to make an appointment.
The initial appointment will be canceled.
Anyone 12 years of age and over can attend a pop-up, walk-in, or mobile walk-in clinic to receive their second dose at least 21 days after their first dose of Pfizer vaccine or at least 28 days after their first dose of Pfizer vaccine. Moderna vaccine.
For the latest public health vaccination opportunities in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts, visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19/vaccine-clinics.
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