Durham is in the fourth wave of pandemic: Dr. Kyle

Some  27 per cent of eligible Durham residents are not fully vaccinated, even though vaccination rates continue to improve, according to Dr. Robert Kyle, region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“Now that we are in the fourth wave of this pandemic and we are seeing an increase in disease spread across the region, I encourage all residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said in a public advisory.

He said although mass immunization clinics have begun to wind down, the Health Department continues to offer opportunities to get vaccinated with a focus on target populations and communities with lower vaccination rates. “Mobile and pop-up clinics aim to reach residents that may not have been able to access one of Durham Region’s mass immunization clinics or earlier pop-up or mobile clinics.”

Dr Robert Kyle

A list of upcoming clinics is available at www.durham.ca/covidvaccines. In addition to the mobile and pop-up clinics, the Health Department is working with its community partners to organize specialized clinics for identified groups, such as post-secondary students and residents with special needs.

On August 17, the province announced several actions to increase protection for vulnerable populations, including: mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policies in high-risk settings; pausing the province’s exit from the Roadmap to Reopen; providing third doses of Covid-19 vaccine to select vulnerable populations at highest-risk; providing vaccination clinics in or nearby schools; and expanding eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine to children born in 2009 or earlier.

In Durham, beginning Wednesday, August 18, residents born in 2009 and turning 12 years old in 2021 will be able to receive a Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine at a mass immunization, mobile or pop-up clinic. Individuals at highest-risk that are eligible for a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will be contacted by their health care provider for further information and will not be able to book an appointment for a third dose through the Health Department’s booking system at this time.

The Health Department will continue to work with its partners such as long-term care facilities, higher-risk licensed retirement homes and First Nations elder care lodges to address the vaccination needs of their residents, said Dr. Kyle.

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