Public health urging 70+ residents to get COVID booster now

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Valerie Verberg received the first COVID-19 vaccine in Lambton Jan. 26. It took until mid February for all long term care residents to be vaccinated.

Lambton Public Health is trying to get booster shots into the arms of people over 70 as quickly as possible.

Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sudit Ranade, says so far, about 34 per cent of people over 70 have received their third booster shot. With the appointments already scheduled, that could jump to 57 per cent by the end of the month.

Public health is adding another 700 appointments for the 70+ age group as it tries to give them as much protection as possible against COVID-19 and its variant, Omicron.

“Due to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant and the potential for a higher risk of severe illness in older populations, I’m strongly urging all residents 70
years of age and older get their booster shot as soon as possible,” says Ranade in a news release.

“If you are under the age of 70 years old and have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine you are well protected against severe illness as a result of COVID-19 and its variants,” says Ranade.

“At this time, we need to focus on getting first and second doses into those who have yet to be vaccinated, and to protect our vulnerable populations by getting them a third dose as soon as possible. Please be patient, as we continue to work through the challenges of expanding the vaccine rollout quickly.”

Ranade says people over 18, who can begin booking appointments Monday, can expect to have a scheduled appointment in January or February.

He’s encouraging people who want a shot sooner to consult their doctor, who may be giving out boosters, or local pharmacies.

In Lambton today, public health recorded 28 new cases of COVID-19. There are 129 people ill right now. There were also four new outbreaks declared yesterday – all in workplaces. Each outbreak has two cases.

There are also two outbreaks in local schools the worst of which is in Bright’s Grove where nine people are sick. Across Ontario 78 schools are closed because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Today, 3124 were reported, up from 2,421 yesterday.

Premier Doug Ford is meeting with members of his cabinet this hour and is holding a news conference at 3:30pm this afternoon.

Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said yesterday a “circuit breaker” was needed to slow the number of people getting COVID with the Omicron variant. They project the province could see as many as 10,000 a day by Dec. 31.