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Sunday, December 4, 2022
Almost all 80-plus Niagara residents vaccinated or booked, region says

Almost all of Niagara's 80-plus population has been received at least one COVID shot or has an appointment for the vaccine, the region's public health agency says.

In total, based on the latest census numbers, about 59 per cent of the 80-plus group has received their first shot already, with an additional 12 per cent booked to get theirs through Niagara Health and another 29 per cent at public health clinics.

“This is really great news that we're moving quickly through this group,” said Niagara's acting chief medical officer of health Dr. Mustafa Hirji.

The vaccine distribution is going well and there are still plenty of spaces for appointments, especially in Niagara-on-the-Lake's clinics, he said.

Over the next few weeks the region hopes to inoculate any stragglers, while public health turns its focus to the 75 to 79 age group.

The region said that as of Monday it had already delivered shots to about 7 per cent of the 75 to 79 age group through vaccinations at long-term care facilities and retirement homes.

Niagara Health physicians are already reaching out to the age group as well and “some have already been vaccinated,” Hirji said.

Another five per cent have been booked in to Niagara Health clinics and 22 per cent more were booked to receive their shots via public health clinics “after just a few hours of registration.”

“We're making very good progress,” Hirji said, adding he thinks both groups will have received their first shots by mid-April.

If the region can continue to keep COVID infection numbers down and vaccinations continue to roll out smoothly, Hirji predicted there could be a loosening of restrictions in two months.

As of Wednesday, the region had 380 active COVID cases, including 14 in NOTL. The region reported 237 cases of COVID variants, up from 119 a week ago.