County figures show “exceptional uptake” of COVID-19 vaccines


Close to a quarter of Renfrew County residents have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit announced Thursday that the region has had “exceptional vaccination interest and uptake.”

The latest figures from the county’s COVID-19 communications committee show that 24,063 area residents have now received at least one dose of the available vaccines.

A total of 26,134 doses have been administered so far, including some people who have received their second shot.

According to the most recent estimates, the population of Renfrew County was 107,265 in 2020.

That would mean that more than 22 per cent of area residents have been vaccinated.

The health unit said that as of Thursday, that breaks down as:

  • over 82% of RCD residents ages 80 and over,
  • approximately 75% of residents ages 75 to 79 and over,
  • over 56% of residents ages 70 to 74, and

almost all residents receiving chronic home care (identified by home health care organizations).

“These numbers will continue to rise in the coming weeks, as more people attend vaccination appointments,” the health unit said.

The province has also announced that people 40 years of age and older are now eligible to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine through primary care or at a pharmacy.

“This is great news for the residents of RCD (Renfrew County and District) who will now be able to receive a vaccine weeks before they originally would have been able to, based on age group eligibility,” said Dr. Robert Cushman, acting medical officer of health.

“Thus far, the AstraZeneca rollout in RCD has been a tremendous success! Last week, more than 900 people received their first dose of AstraZeneca in primary care led clinics across RCD, and another 900 people have made appointments to roll up their sleeves this week.”

The health unit said that “we are happy to report” that its primary care partners have used “all our allotment of AstraZeneca in two weeks, one of the fastest AZ rollouts in the province.”

Andrew Keck, manager of COVID-19 vaccine rollout said the health unit’s partners “all demonstrated a level of partnership and collaboration that is unparalleled.”

“Pulling together and offering efficient mass clinics to not only their own patients, but also the general public, enabled an additional 1,800 RCD residents to get vaccinated with first doses, and removed barriers for those who do not have a family care provider.”

The health unit said Health Canada has indicated that the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine continue to outweigh the risks, “making it is safe for use in individuals 40 years of age and over.”

“Health Canada’s position remains that the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine meets its strict safety standards. Results of ongoing safety assessments have been consistent, and the potential risk of blood clots is very rare.”

“Folks want to be vaccinated and wisely they understand that the risks from getting COVID-19 or even being in a car accident, far outweigh the risk of the vaccine,” said Dr. Cushman.

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