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Region sees rise in vaccination rates since passport system introduced

Waterloo Region has seen an uptick in the vaccination rate since the province’s vaccine passport system came into effect last week.

At midweek, almost 84 per cent of residents over the age of 12 were fully vaccinated, with some 89 per cent having received at least one shot. Nationally, those numbers were just shy of 80 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively.

The province is looking to introduce an app-based QR code for the vaccine certificate program later next month.

“We all want businesses to be open and stay open, if your fully vaccinated and need proof of vaccination you can get it online by visiting covid-19.ontario.ca,” said regional Chair Karen Redman at the weekly pandemic briefing September 24.

“We continue to see relative stability in our local trends. Ontario’s proof of vaccination is an important measure to help reduce and control the spread of COVID-19 in higher-risk indoor settings while supporting our local businesses,” said medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang.

“The Delta variant continues to circulate in our community and represents the vast majority of cases, we know that the Delta variant is more transmissible and causes more illness. Rates could rise as people start to have more activity indoors, especially with spaces with poor ventilation or in crowded places. Residents will need to have their proof of vaccination on hand as well as identification to attend indoor restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, sporting events, movie theatres or other higher risk indoor public settings,” she explained.

“I want to thank our eligible residents who have stepped up to get vaccinated. If you’ve not yet been vaccinated it’s not too late to do so, you can get your vaccine at a regional vaccine clinic, mobile bus, pharmacy, or through participating family health providers.”

The mobile vaccine bus will be downtown Elmira this on Saturday (October 20) for anyone looking to get a first or second dose.

Unvaccinated people are 25 times more likely to end up in a hospital and 45 times more likely to be in ICU, according to Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Kieran Moore, who noted Ontario will likely use the vaccine passport over the course of the winter and possibly longer.

Waterloo Region saw a decrease in active cases in the past week, the number dropping to 165 from 216 at the same point last week. Public health officials are currently monitoring eight outbreaks, unchanged from the week previous.

The numbers are trending  downward in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph as well, with the midweek total at 106 active cases, down from 181 a week earlier. That catchment area also saw a spike in vaccination rates in the past week.

The province continues to see growth in the total number of cases, with the tally now at 585,000, up about 4,000 in the past week.

There have been 9,715 deaths attributed to the virus – up 52 over the week before – representing a mortality rate of 1.7 per cent. The ministry reports 570,000 cases (97.4 per cent) have been resolved.

The latest numbers from Health Canada show 46,400 active cases nationwide, up about 1,000 from a week earlier. The cumulative total of confirmed cases now stands at 1,612,400, with 27,699 related deaths, a mortality rate of 1.8 per cent.

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