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Region increases vaccine eligibility ahead of a return to school next week

Waterloo Region children born in 2009 are now eligible to get vaccinated before they head back to school next week.

“Getting ready for back to school, all youth born in 2009 or earlier are eligible to get the vaccine. We encourage all youth and their families to get fully vaccinated. There are still many opportunities between this week and next to get vaccinated,” said medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang during the weekly pandemic briefing August 27.

“Our local trends have remained stable to date although we can expect our case rates may rise and we’ll need to remain vigilant – families with children who are not yet eligible it is important that every other family member is fully vaccinated to reduce the risk. Our case rates continue to sit at approximately 22 cases per 100, 00 per week – we have started to see a higher number of case reports coming in so our numbers may be starting to trend higher. Delta can spread rapidly as we know and it continues to circulate in our community and across Ontario, we need to continue increasing our vaccination rates and keep practicing our public health precautions,” she said.

“We will continue to work with the schools to do what makes sense, we have had multiple discussions as to what vaccination efforts could look like this fall. I think there is some potential for in school vaccination but it has to make sense for the schools and the families and the children, those details have not been hammered out yet, but I assure you we are working on them,” said Vickie Murray, director of regional vaccine services.

Murray also mentioned they will continue to dispatch the mobile vaccination bus to rural locations in Woolwich and Wellesley township to help people get vaccinated closer to home. The region is open to input from businesses that would like to host the bus for a few hours.

At midweek, 85.7 per cent of Waterloo Region residents over the age of 12 had received at least one dose of a vaccine, with 78.9 per cent fully immunized.

There were 154 active cases in the region, up 16 from a week earlier. Officials are monitoring outbreaks in six locations, the same number as this point last week. One person succumbed to the disease in the past week, bringing the total to 289 since the pandemic began.

The numbers are spiking in neighbouring Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, with the midweek total at 105 active cases, up from 55 a week earlier. There have been a total of 126 fatalities since the pandemic began, unchanged over the last six weeks.

The province continues to see growth in the total number of cases, and at a higher rate than in recent weeks, with the tally now at 565,000, up about a 5,000 in the past week.

There have been 9,503 deaths attributed to the virus – up 32 over the week before – representing a mortality rate of 1.7 per cent. The ministry reports 550,000 cases (97.3 per cent) have been resolved.

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