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COVID-19: Delta variant cluster in Peterborough area; vaccination rates up to 75 per cent

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The Peterborough area has its first confirmed case of the Delta variant, first identified in India. Health officials say it's more contagious than previous strains. That's why the local medical officer of health is encouraging everyone to book their second vaccination appointments as soon as they become eligible. Mark Giunta reports – Jun 14, 2021

Peterborough Public Health reports the Delta COVID-19 variant is now in the region.

According to Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health, the case was identified on Saturday, but the individual was initially symptomatic on May 29. She says it’s being treated as a cluster since it involves a household where four people are now symptomatic and either have tested or are presumed positive for the variant.

Read more: Delta COVID-19 variant cases are rising, prompting caution on reopening plans

The variant first found in India is estimated by some to be at least 60 per cent more contagious than the previous dominant strain.

“I’m assuming everyone is positive for the Delta, but we have asked Public Health Ontario to screen the other cases,” Salvaterra said. “With genomic sequencing, it will be two weeks before we get confirmatory results. But we are treating this as a Delta cluster.”

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Salvaterra says as a result, it’s more important people get a second COVID-19 vaccine dose and she encourages people to book their second dose as soon as they are eligible.

“Data from the U.K. does demonstrate that even one dose of a COVID vaccine is not enough to stop the Delta variant — that one dose confers only 30 per of immunity,” she said.

“To really stop the Delta we need to have people fully immunized with two doses.”

She said the variant is also a reminder that Ontario’s reopening plans must be gradual.

As of Sunday evening, the health unit reported 35 active cases of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction. The health unit also reported Monday morning that outbreaks at an unidentified city workplace and at Riverview Manor long-term care were both declared over on the weekend. That leaves no active outbreaks in the region.

Vaccination

On Monday morning, the health unit reported 110,435 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered at clinics, with 93,211 people receiving at least their first dose, which is approximately 75.2 per cent of the eligible population.

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An additional 16,555 individuals are considered fully vaccinated with both a first and second dose.

“We still have over 29,000 adults over the age of 18 who still have not had their first dose,” Salvaterra noted.

However, she says work needs to continue to get more youth ages 12 to 17 vaccinated since 60.3 per cent of that population have yet to receive a first dose — approximately 5,000.

There will be youth-specific vaccination clinics in Peterborough this week.

“We need to do our best to reach those people in our community,” she said.

The health unit will receive two large shipments of Moderna vaccine this week and next.

Dr. Salvaterra said each shipment is likely to have approximately 4,000 doses with more available should the health unit request it for Moderna-only clinics.

The health unit continues to receive approximately 8,000 doses of Pfizer each week.

As for appointments, Dr. Salvaterra says they fill up fast at the mass immunization sites and advises residents to check the online booking system as often as they can for availabilty.

That said, she pointed to pharmacies as a viable alternative as they will be receiving more doses of vaccine weekly.

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“They are going to be more and more a really dependable source of vaccines in Peterborough.  In the long-term, pharmacies will play a larger role.”

 

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