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May. 21, 2022 | Saturday
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Editorial: Good news for NOTLers 80+ who want the vaccine

If you're like us, the first reaction to Niagara Region's plan for COVID-19 vaccine clinics for those over age 80 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, might have been: what the heck ...

Three clinics over a 10-day span and only 400 or so people per day getting vaccinated, seemed like under-achieving.

But looking more closely, we now understand that with 1,300 folks in NOTL over age 80, those 1,200 vaccinations basically mean everyone who wants the shot should be able to get one. Many over-80s have already got their jabs in St. Catharines, so it seems the region got that part of the plan right. 

So, kudos to public health. The only amendment we'd offer is, why not do those clinics on three consecutive days and be done? 

On the other hand, the region needs to improve the way it shares information and communicates.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero thinks public health officials could have done a lot better job of letting people know how the vaccine clinics will work. And we agree.

Despite the clinics being open to anyone from any municipality, the region didn’t really make it clear to people until this week that you don't have to stay in your hometown to get the jab.

It would have been helpful for NOTL residents over 80 to have the information last week, or even earlier, when worries were swirling about how this rollout was going to work.

This was an oversight that may have caused unnecessary angst among residents who noticed NOTL’s vaccine clinics don’t start until two weeks after they began in Niagara Falls.

NOTL, of course, dutifully pays more than its fair share of taxes to the region, so it is understandable of residents to ask, “Well, what about us?” 

With many retirees, this community has a large number of older folks, so when those under 80 are eligible for vaccines we hope the region is much clearer and more informative about how it all is supposed to work.

It’s commendable that public health decided to open clinics across the region so seniors wouldn’t have to travel far. A win.

It looks as if NOTL is on track to have all of its 80-plus population vaccinated before mid-April. Another win.

And public health is saying that soon, pharmacies and family doctors will be able to vaccinate patients. Yet another win (once it happens).

Positive steps, finally. Meantime, we urge everyone to trust the science and get your shot at the earliest opportunity.