50 per cent of Peel Region adults now fully vaccinated against COVID-19

A health-care worker holds up a sign signaling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the 'hockey hub' mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021.

Peel Region reached another milestone in its vaccine campaign Saturday, with more than 50 per cent of its adult residents now fully vaccinated.

The achievement was announced ahead of another overnight clinic hosted by the region to increase second dose coverage.

The Dusk till Dawn vaccination clinic will take place at Save Max Sports Centre in Brampton from 11 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday.

"We've just hit the 50 per cent fully dosed mark in Peel Region. And we want to get to 70 per cent. We want to get up to 80 per cent," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Abdu Sharkawy, who is at the clinic.

He urged residents who have not received their COVID-19 vaccine to get jabbed at the clinic.

"This is your passport. This is your ticket to being able to party and enjoy yourself the way you should in the next few weeks and for months to come," Sharkawy said.

��We’ve reached a big milestone, Peel!��

50% of residents aged 18+ are now fully vaccinated��

This is a huge accomplishment to reach near the end of our #2DoseChallenge.

Thanks to YOU for helping us get here and to all our partners who've made it possible!�� pic.twitter.com/j4p3ZAST2v

— Region of Peel (@regionofpeel) July 10, 2021

There have been efforts to ramp up second doses in the province as it faces the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant, which was first discovered in India. Earlier this week, the scientific director of Ontario’s science table noted that the Delta variant accounts for about 80 per cent of all new cases in the province.

On Saturday, more than 200 cases of variants of concerns were reported, with 98 of the cases being the Delta variant.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region's medical officer of health, said the clinic is part of a big push for second doses to "outrun" the Delta variant that he says preys on those who are wholly or partially unvaccinated.

"The vast majority of people that are hospitalized in our community right now, unfortunately, are people who hadn't received one or any doses of vaccine," Loh said.

He noted that they are targeting essential workers and people who cannot access clinics during regular hours.

"We're just trying to make sure that everyone has the least barriers as possible to accessing two-dose coverage in Peel," Loh said.

Appointments can be booked through the provincial website. The clinic is also accepting walk-ins for first and second doses from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Peel Region said there will be a live DJ, giveaways, and guest vaccinators at the clinic.

Mayor Patrick Brown said the clinic is a "creative way" to reach residents who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Initially, we didn't have the vaccines to be able to do an overnight clinic. We were limited, but now that we have vaccine capacity, we're jumping on opportunities like that. We're looking at every opportunity to make sure we reach every corner of our city," Brown said.

"This push is so important. We know with the Delta variant, you need two doses to protect yourself. And so, this is an opportunity to make sure you get that full protection. I want to see a hospital with no COVID patients, and this is the way to do it."

The clinic will conclude a week-long Second Dose Coast to Coast challenge, which pits Peel Region against Calgary to see who can get more second doses into arms.

In May, Peel Region administered more than 5,000 doses at its 32-hour Doses After Dark immunization clinic.