Vaccine now open to everyone 18-plus

By Natali Trivuncic
Staff Writer

Yesterday morning, anyone aged 18 or older could book a vaccine appointment directly through the Ontario website.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon, medical officer of health at the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), said they look forward to seeing many young people at their clinics and remind the public that high vaccination rates will allow the restrictions to be lifted.

Young Hoon said she urges the public to get vaccinated if they are able to.

Those aged 12 to 17 will be able to book their appointments in early June.

There have now been over 38,000 vaccine doses given in the region and 54 per cent of those aged 18 years and older have now received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“I hope to see this statistic increase in the upcoming weeks especially now that anyone aged 18 and older is eligible,” Young Hoon said.

In terms of vaccine side effects, Young Hoon said the NWHU is monitoring for them, and putting the information into a database that is then monitored provincially.

“Our number of side effects would be too small to really pick up on significant issues so the main reason that they do this is to monitor provincially and nationally so they can pick up on those very rare side effects that may not have been detected,” Young Hoon said.

Young Hoon said they expect to see reports of individuals with a reaction close to the injection site. This means some redness, swelling and some tenderness around the injection site. She adds that these side effects tend to go away within a day or sometimes a week.

Also on occasion, Young Hoon said they receive reports of a headache, feeling a bit unwell and body aches but again, those are only supposed to last a few days.

Young Hoon said there have been rare instances of an allergic reaction but that they are equipped to deal with the situation should it occur.

There are 30 active cases of COVID-19 in the region, nine in the Dryden health hub, one in the Fort Frances health hub, two in the Kenora health hub and 18 in the Sioux Lookout health hub.