Acting MOH wants higher vaccination rates for Windsor-Essex

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The Acting Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex is still concerned with COVID-19 vaccination rates in the region.

Dr. Shanker Nesathurai says the community has to learn to live with COVID, but feels area vaccination rates need to increase.

He made the comments during the health unit's Thursday COVID-19 briefing.

"Given the fact that only about half the people in that age group are vaccinated, I worry that we may have a resurgence or increase in cases, increase in hospitalizations and an increase in death but also to think that there are likely going to be new variants of COVID and that may affect the burden of illness," Dr. Nesathurai said.

According to the health unit, 52 per cent of residents 12 and over have received a third dose.

Dr. Nesathurai says getting vaccination rates up in Windsor-Essex is important, because we know that the vaccine prevents the most serious consequences of COVID which is hospitalization and death.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit CEO Nicole Dupuis says the health unit is no longer seeing crowds at its COVID-19 pop-up clinics.

"We are still seeing individuals, we are still vaccinating but it is a much slower uptake and I think you're seeing that in the numbers," she continued. "It's a bit more of a crawl right now and so certainly we would like to see that, especially knowing we are only at 50 per cent for third doses."    

The health unit says the lowest age group coverage rate for third doses is 12 to 17-year-olds, which stands at 11 per cent.

The highest coverage rate for third doses is residents 80 and over. 

That rate is at 88.4 per cent.