Uptick in COVID-19 vaccine doses in Waterloo Region after vaccine passport announcement

Waterloo Region has seen a surge in local demand for COVID-19 shots two days after the province unveiled plans for a vaccine passport.

Speaking at the region's COVID-19 briefing on Friday morning, officials said the number of first doses going into arms increased to 40 per cent each day, up from about 25 per cent first doses each day last week.

Public health added that there was a 30 per cent jump in people looking for vaccines at The Boardwalk clinic on Thursday.

Dept. Chief Shirley Hilton, who leads the region's vaccine task force, said they're adding more staff at that clinic to prepare for increased demand over the long weekend.

"We're ensuring that we're well staffed (Friday) and over the weekend, anticipating we may have higher volumes," she said. "As a community, we cannot relax. We must keep our foot on the gas to ensure all eligible to receive the vaccine do."

The Boardwalk clinic, vaccine buses and mobile clinics will all be available for first and second doses over the Labour day weekend to encourage people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

MAJORITY OF CASES, HOSPITALIZATIONS IN UNVACCINATED POPULATION

According to Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Rabia Bana, 70.8 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the region over the past 30 days have been reported in people who aren't vaccinated. It was a similar trend for hospitalizations, with 72.2 per cent of people admitted to local hospitals over the past 30 days either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Dr. Bana said 100 per cent of cases in the ICU right now are people who aren't vaccinated. Two deaths reported in the last month were in people who weren't vaccinated.