Huron Perth residents under 40 encouraged to be more proactive getting vaccinated

Vaccine rates are climbing in Huron and Perth counties, but the area’s top doctor is calling on a specific group to seek their shot.

Huron Perth Medical Office of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen says residents under the age of 40 haven’t been as proactive as getting vaccinated as people in older groups.

“We are encouraging people in that age range to get their first dose as soon as possible and their second dose as well,” she said.

The area has been able to keep COVID-19 cases relatively low since the start of the pandemic and currently has 75 per cent of the population with at least their first shot.

“We’re very pleased with the response in Huron Perth over the past couple weeks,” said Dr. Klassen. “There’s been a steady increase in people getting fully vaccinated.”

However, only 55 per cent of residents under 40 have been vaccinated.

“We are aware that there are more barriers in this age group,” said Dr. Klassen. “I think many of them are willing to get vaccinated, but a lot of these are working age people with families and so forth.”

To make it easier, the area’s top doctor says they are opening more pop-up and walk-in clinics, which are ideas known to be more popular with younger age groups.

Officials add that primary care groups will play a big role in helping to ease vaccine hesitancy.

“You have these one on one conversations in particular with people who might lack confidence,” said Dr. Klassen.

The message from Public Health is being echoed by businesses hoping to avoid another lockdown.

“That would be hard for us,” said Blaine Myers, the owner operator of Joe’s Diner in Stratford. “We already fought through the last year and a half, so another one would almost be crippling.”

The diner was closed Sunday due to rain, but Myers adds that his customers are only now starting to feel safe enough to dine out.

“A lot of them say they haven’t been here for a year,” he said. “They are double vaccinated, they feel better now.”

Dr. Klassen is reminding the under 40 age group that it’s more than just their health at stake.

“When it’s circulating in any group it puts more vulnerable populations at risk like those in our long-term care homes we all protect each other by being vaccinated,” she said. “The sooner vaccination rates are higher the quicker the path will be to less public health measures in a more open economy again.”

Anyone in Huron Perth looking to book a vaccine can go to the Huron Perth Public Health website.