COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to be strong in Chatham-Kent.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby told a media scrum Thursday that 42 percent of the population of residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
It adds up to 40,321 shots of which 38,636 are first doses.
But as for a return to a somewhat normal summer, Colby said it’s too soon to tell if backyard barbecues and other outdoor gatherings will be given the green light as predicted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It all depends, Colby said, on the number of vaccines that flow from Ottawa to Chatham-Kent.
“The major factor is not our capacity to immunize,” he emphasized. “It’s our supply of vaccine.
“We work with what we are able to get,” he added. “In Chatham-Kent, we’re able to get the shots into arms very, very quickly.”
The eligibility list for the jab under the Phase 2 rollout continues to expand. By the end of next week, Colby said a first shot will have been offered to all temporary foreign workers in Chatham-Kent.
So far, mobile teams have inoculated 350 workers at 10 different farms. Next week they will continue the effort by reaching out to more farms.
The aim, Colby added, is to offer every temporary foreign worker the shot by month’s end.
Along with dropping vaccine eligibility to age 40, other Phase 2 categories are now in play. For example, second doses are now being offered to urban Indigenous populations, some high-risk health-care workers and dialysis patients
As for homebound residents, Colby said he believes most individuals have been reached, but if not, they should contact their primary care provider who will contact the health unit on their behalf.
On Friday, CK Public Health reported no net change in active COVID-19 numbers. Six cases were deemed resolved while six more were reported in the past 24 hours. Nine Chatham-Kent residents remain in local hospital.