70,000 people in Windsor-Essex yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination

AM800-NEWS-HEALTH-UNIT-FRONT-ENTRANCE-WECHU-WINDSOR-MARCH2016

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reports over 70,000 people in this area that are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have yet to receive a single dose.

In all, 70,693 individuals remain unvaccinated according to figures released by the health unit.

That has Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, acting medical officer of health for Windsor-Essex, appealing to members of the public to get vaccinated.

"They're helping themselves and they're helping other people in the community. They're doing their part to help the broader population which I think is a really important public health priority," he says.

Dr. Nesathurai says around nine per cent, or 1-in-10 people who go for a COVID-19 test in Windsor-Essex are currently testing positive for the virus. That's the top positivity rate in all of Ontario.

"We all do things, we may have a personal reluctance toward it but it's likely to benefit others, especially the people we love," he says. "If you get vaccinated, you're less likely to contract COVID, you're less likely to become severely ill from COVID, you're less likely to be hospitalized from COVID and you're less likely to die from COVID."

Dr. Nesathurai also notes that one of the unrecognized challenges of this pandemic is that there are other illnesses and other medical conditions that need to be treated.

"As we divert resources to managing COVID at the hospital level, the physician level and nurse practitioner level, we take away from managing other disease states likes heart disease, cancer, and scheduled surgeries," he says.

Dr. Nesathurai adds one of his most important priorities is to keep schools open for instruction, so whatever we can do to contain COVID, we should try to do that.