90% of 12+ London-area residents now at least partially vaccinated

A public health nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

Ninety per cent and counting.

The Middlesex London Health Unit confirmed on Tuesday that of all area residents aged 12 and older, 90 per cent have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Reaching this milestone is an achievement worth celebrating and one the whole community can share in. It is truly an amazing accomplishment,” said Dr. Alex Summers, the region’s acting medical officer of health. “With the opening of vaccination appointment bookings [Tuesday] for children between the ages of five and 11, we hope to see the vaccination coverage in the community continue to grow, as we all do our part to keep our families and our most vulnerable citizens safe this winter.”

The number of those considered fully vaccinated after getting both shots has also gone up and is now sitting at 87.2 per cent from 86.7 per cent a week ago. In total, there have been 809,166 doses administered locally in just under one year.

According to the health unit, the milestone vaccination uptake was the result of close collaboration between public health officials and multiple agencies across the region that helped organize clinics in a variety of settings including within First Nations communities and seniors’ facilities.

The effort to get the younger population vaccinated against the virus began on Tuesday with appointment bookings opening for kids aged 5 to 11. Appointments can be booked online at covidvaccinelm.ca or by calling 226-289-3560 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week.

The positive news about London and Middlesex’s overall vaccination rate comes as the region logged 12 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. That is down slightly from 14 on Monday. Tuesday’s new cases mark the eighth consecutive day the daily case count has been in the double-digits. The area’s total case load since the pandemic began stands at 14,761.

The region’s death toll is unchanged at 252.

Resolved cases are up by ten to 14,383. There are currently 126 active cases locally.

Outbreaks at Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy and Notre Dame Catholic in London have been declared over. That leaves just two remaining outbreaks at Thames Valley District schools – Port Burwell Public and Westfield Public in Tillsonburg. The TVDSB also reported two cases each at Lord Nelson Public in London and Summers’ Corners Public in Aylmer.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) currently has 21 inpatients with COVID-19 in its care, up two since Monday. Ten of those patients are listed in intensive care and five or fewer are in the care of Children’s Hospital. Fewer than five employees are in isolation after testing positive for the virus.

Of the 476 people who have contracted the virus locally since October 12, approximately 51.9 per cent were not vaccinated, 3.7 per cent were partially vaccinated, and 43.1 per cent were fully vaccinated. Another 1.3 per cent had the shot but it had not yet begun offering protection.

In Elgin and Oxford counties, there were 31 more infections confirmed on Tuesday. That brings Southwestern Public Health’s total number of confirmed infections since the start of the pandemic to 5,196. For the second day in a row there has been a COVID-19 related deaths. The latest fatality brings the death toll up to 97. Resolved cases rose to 4,932 with 167 known active cases remaining in the area.

Ontario logged more than 600 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

Public health officials recorded 613 new infections over the past 24 hours. That is down from 627 Monday, 741 Sunday, and 728 Saturday.

Of the 613 new cases, 288 of the infections reported were among those who had not had a single shot. The partially vaccinated makeup 30 of the new cases, and there were 266 cases involving the fully vaccinated. Another 29 of the cases involved individuals whose vaccination status is unknown.

Ontario’s total case count since the start of the pandemic now stands at 612,931.

There were six additional deaths reported, bringing the provincial death toll from the virus to 9,974.

There are currently 282 people with COVID-19 being treated at Ontario hospitals, up 146 from Monday. COVID-19 related admissions to intensive care units are up by one to 134 and there are 111 people breathing with the assistance of a ventilator, unchanged from the previous day. Of those on general hospital wards with the virus, 104 are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. Sixty-six are fully vaccinated.

The number of resolved cases rose by 717 to 597,470. There are currently 5,487 active cases of the virus in Ontario.

In the last 24 hour period, 19,859 COVID-19 tests were processed. The province’s positivity rate is now 3.1 per cent.

To date, the province has administered just over 22.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 11.2 million people having received both shots required to be fully inoculated.