Vaccination rates climb, but not fast enough

Pharmacy technician drawing up doses of COVID vaccine. (File photo by Colin Gowdy, Blackburn News)

The number of people in Windsor-Essex who have had at least one dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 continues to grow, but across Canada, concern is mounting about the number of cases involving variants.

So far, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has identified 345 variants of concern in the region. Across Canada, there have been almost 42-thousand, and more than half of them are in Ontario.

According to John Hopkins University, Canada’s per-capita case rate is beginning to overtake the United States.

Canada reported 7,548 new cases on Tuesday. The New York Times said the U.S. had 77,312. While a third of the adult population over the border has had at least one shot, only 15.2 per cent in Canada have.  Less than two per cent of Canadians have had both doses.

In Windsor-Essex, public health officials have administered 109,398 doses, and 12,499 people have had both shots.

The health unit reported 31 new cases Wednesday. Of those 15 people caught it from someone living in their home who has already been diagnosed with the virus. Outbreaks are blamed for another nine infections, and five patients caught COVID-19 in the community. Public health officials are still investigating how two other people were infected.

Ontario’s case numbers ticked upwards again on Wednesday after a short-lived decline on Tuesday. There were 4,156 new cases across the province and 28 new deaths. There are now 1,877 people in the hospital, and 642 are in intensive care units.