With at least one more vaccination clinic planned at the community centre, Niagara-on-the-Lake is already the Niagara municipality with the highest percentage of its population vaccinated.
As of last Wednesday — the results are shared weekly by public health, says Lord Mayor Betty Disero — 83 per cent of NOTL residents had their first dose, and 79 per cent were fully vaccinated, numbers that will be higher this week.
Yesterday, across the region, more than 74 per cent of Niagara residents have their first dose, and more than 68 per cent are fully vaccinated.
That’s “significantly higher in NOTL, about 10 per cent more,” says Disero, adding that doesn’t include those vaccinated outside the province, including snowbirds who were vaccinated in the U.S.
She said the number of vaccination increases took a jump when the need for a vaccination certificate to enter certain businesses and venues was announced, but have flattened out again.
The public health department is planning a vaccination clinic at the NOTL community centre next Wednesday, Sept. 29.
While the demographics of NOTL, with its senior population, is likely one reason for the municipality having the highest percentage of people vaccinated, “it also means people in NOTL are working together to pull through this pandemic,” says Disero.
“I’m very proud and pleased to live in a community that pulls together like this.”
Sean Simpson of Simpson’s Pharmacy says he’s definitely seen the number of people in town wanting to get vaccinated dwindle. He no longer has a waiting list, and he’s reduced the days he does vaccinations to about two or three a week so as not to waste vaccine.
At this point, “anyone who wants a vaccination has access to a vaccination,” with lots of public health pop-up locations in addition to pharmacies making it easy. Those who are now coming in are a younger group, says Simpson.
“I’d say largely the seniors are done at this stage. I see some younger people slowly trickling in, as people get more comfortable about the safety of the vaccine. There are still a lot more who could get it, and we’re encouraging them to do that. When they’re ready, we’re ready.”
Simpson says he’s anticipating the next group of five to 11-year-olds, once vaccinations are approved for that age group. “It will be good to get another portion of the population vaccinated.”