‘TARGETED STRATEGIES’: Ontario homing in on unvaccinated population

Government remains concerned about outbreaks of the delta variant

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The Ontario COVID-19 vaccine rollout team will start targeting the ever smaller percentage of unvaccinated now that just over half of the adult population has had two doses.

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Almost 80% of Ontario adults have had at least one dose.

Public health officials believe those who have yet to get a vaccine include both people who are unsure or hesitant and those who have not had an opportunity possibly due to their work schedules.

Officials are also starting to look at how to vaccinate children under 12 years old if a vaccine is approved for their use as expected this fall.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said that as Step 3 in the reopening plan approaches, it will be important to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

“Our government is working closely with public health units, community organizations and other stakeholders to address barriers to vaccination,” Elliott said Thursday. “This includes targeted strategies such as mobile clinics, dedicated clinic days for youth and town hall meetings in multiple languages.”

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But despite boasting about one of the best international vaccination records — and exceeding jab thresholds for Step 3  — Ontario remains one of the most closed-up jurisdictions in North America.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said the government remains concerned about outbreaks of the delta variant in several parts of the province and also the potential for variants of concern (VOC) to cross the international border.

Second doses are being accelerated in areas with higher numbers of delta cases.

The province administered 268,884 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday for a total of almost 16.4 million doses.

More than 6.3 million Ontarians are fully vaccinated — 51% of the adult population.

Public health officials released double-dosed data by age group — ranging from a high of 84% of people 80 and older down to 14% of youth aged 12 to 17.

The province plans to focus in on youth including offering vaccination at some summer camps and partnering with McDonald’s Canada to distribute information to “build vaccine confidence,” the rollout plan says.

aartuso@postmedia.com

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