Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced Monday a moment that local parents have long-awaited and eagerly anticipated: Starting later this week, if you have a child between the ages of six months and five years, you should be able to book an appointment to get their first COVID-19 vaccine shot. Shipments of Moderna’s pediatric vaccine will soon arrive!
“I encourage every parent and caregiver to speak with their primary care provider or pharmacist to answer their vaccination questions – especially for children attending school or daycare this fall,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer in a statement.
“Each one of us must continue to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community from COVID-19 by following public health measures – including getting vaccinated. I encourage everyone, regardless of age, to stay up to date with vaccinations.”
Unlike last phases of the vaccine roll out, Public Health will not be expanding the number of vaccine clinics, and instead the pediatric vaccine will be administered through primary caregivers, family doctors, and select pharmacies. If you do not have a family doctor, you can get in touch with Public Health at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006, any time from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, to arrange a vaccine shot.
Last week, the Government of Ontario announced that the pediatric vaccines would be available in Ontario starting on July 28. The news came a little over a week after the Province announced that fourth dose vaccines were now available for all people in Ontario over the age of 18.
“We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have helped lower the rate of infection in our communities throughout the pandemic,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore in a statement last week. “Although most children who get infected have no symptoms or mild symptoms, some can become very sick and require hospitalization. The vaccine offered to children aged six months to under five years is a lower dose that is safe and effective at protecting this age group from COVID-19.
“Even if a child has already had COVID-19, vaccination will help to further improve the immune response and provide more robust protection,” Moore added. “I encourage every parent and caregiver to consider getting their younger children vaccinated and protected, especially if they are immunocompromised or have other serious medical conditions.”
As of last Wednesday when the numbers were last updated, 93.2 per cent of people in Guelph had received one shot of a COVID vaccine, 90.7 per cent have had two shots, and 62.5 per cent have had at least one booster. Across the region, 91.5 per cent of people have had one shot, 88.9 per cent have had two shots, and 59.7 per cent have gotten at least one booster.
In terms of COVID cases locally, there are 260 in the region as of last Wednesday, and that was after 167 new cases were confirmed in the seven days prior. There was also a new COVID-19 fatality, which brings the local total since the start of the pandemic up to 164. The 7-day moving rate is now up to 59.9 per 100,000 and the test positivity rate is nearly 16 per cent.
COVID-19 vaccine shots are currently available at two locations in Guelph through Public Health including the clinic at Stone Road Mall and Public Health’s main office on Chancellors Way.