Vaccination rate climbing for district children

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer
memara@fortfrances.com

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) reported yesterday that over 61 per cent of children aged five to 11 have now had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon, medical officer of health at the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), said she thanks the parents who have decided to get their children vaccinated.

“You are helping to keep our community safe,” Young Hoon said.

Young Hoon said parents who are still unsure about vaccinating their children could use SickKids vaccine consults service.

“The experts at SickKids can provide a safe judgment-free space where you can get answers to your questions,” she added.

Young Hoon said she still urges adults to get their booster dose of the vaccine because in addition to its protection from serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness, a booster dose can help prevent people from getting symptoms.

“This means that a booster dose increases the likelihood that you won’t get sick from COVID-19 and you can keep attending work and help to keep your household out of isolation,” she said. “It’s not too late to get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you need a first second or booster dose, please make an appointment or attend one of our walk-in clinics.”

Young Hoon said their COVID-19 data recording has been revised to better represent the risk in the region because they show trends, not day-to-day fluctuations in case numbers and per cent positivity.

“I recognize that this is a shift for everyone to adapt to. However, it is necessary to ensure we are providing relevant and meaningful information,” Young Hoon said. “Please note that real time data is not finalized and is subject to change as more information comes in. A number pulled from today may differ slightly if we pulled data from the same date retrospectively in a week’s time.”

She added that it is necessary to ensure they are providing relevant and meaningful information, adding that the real time data is not finalized and is subject to change as more information comes in. A number pulled from today may differ slightly if we pulled data from the same date retrospectively in a week’s time, Young Hoon explained.

Young Hoon said the northwestern catchment area is seeing a very high per cent positivity rate when compared to other areas in the province. This means that even though Omicron is decreasing in the province as a whole, it is likely that it is still spreading rapidly in our communities, she added.

“Our large-scale clinics are slowing down and we will be shifting some of our focus to smaller clinics and more targeted outreach,” Young Hoon said.

Young Hoon said if you have symptoms or get a positive result on the rapid test, you can visit www.ontario.ca/exposed for instructions on what to do next. Young Hoon added that if someone is exposed to the virus from someone they do not live with, if they are fully vaccinated, they do not need to self isolate, only self monitor unless they develop symptoms.

“This applies to fully vaccinated children as well. Children who are not fully vaccinated must self isolate for five days if they are in close contact with a positive case or someone with symptoms,” she added. “Adults who are not fully vaccinated must self isolate for 10 days.”