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18- to 29-year-olds now lead the COVID-19 vaccination charge in Waterloo Region

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The much-maligned 18 to 29 age group now has the highest percentage of residents with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Waterloo Region’s COVID-19 distribution task force says 87.95 per cent of those living in the region between the ages of 18 and 29 have now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine wastage concerns in Canada as Moderna doses expire this week

That number is now ahead of those over the age of 80 (87.65) and dwarfs the provincial average of 71.5 per cent.

Waterloo Region’s top doctor singled out the group for praise during her weekly update with media on Friday.

“I also want to give a special shoutout to the 18- to 29-year-olds in our community,” medical officer of health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said.

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“Waterloo Region has one of the highest number of first doses in this age group in the province.

“What we do now helps determine our future. And helps. So let’s keep protecting.”

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While those young adults who are fully vaccinated (67.95 per cent) still trail other age groups in the region aside from those aged 12 to 17 (51.93 per cent), they are still above the provincial average of 55.8 per cent.

In fact, every age group under the age of 50 is currently above the provincial average while those over the age of 50 are playing catchup.

The task force did not report any numbers over the holiday weekend, and says there have now been 770,721 vaccinations done in the area, 12,378 more than it announced Friday.

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It also says 360,819 residents (61.27 per cent) are now fully vaccinated, 10,651 more than it reported on Friday.

While the number of vaccinations in the area continues to climb at a slower but still steady pace, the number of new cases has flattened over the past week.

With no report Monday due to the holiday, Waterloo Public Health reported another 26 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, raising the total number of cases in Waterloo Region to 18,427.

This pushes the rolling seven-day average number of new cases back up slightly to 17.9. A week ago, that number had fallen down to 13.

Another 22 have also been cleared of the virus, lifting the total number of resolved cases to 17,989.

It has now been 11 days since Waterloo Public Health reported a COVID-19-related death, so the death toll continues to stand at 282. There were 17 deaths reported in the area last month.

This leaves the area with 145 active COVID-19 cases, including 17 people in area hospitals, with nine of those patients in need of intensive care.

Read more: Ontario reports under 200 new daily COVID-19 cases Civic Holiday Monday and Tuesday

Elsewhere, Ontario reported 168 new COVID-19 cases on the Civic Holiday Monday and 164 on Tuesday. The provincial total now stands at 550,986.

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The province released two sets of data due to the holiday.

Monday and Tuesday’s case counts break a four-day trend that saw daily case counts higher than 200 but testing for both days was significantly lower. However, test positivity was at the highest levels seen in about a month.

According to Monday’s report, 43 cases were recorded in Toronto, 19 in Peel Region, 16 in both York Region and Hamilton, 12 in Halton Region and 10 in Durham Region.

According to Tuesday’s report, 45 cases were recorded in Toronto, 23 in York Region, 22 in Peel Region, 14 in Waterloo Region and 13 in Windsor-Essex.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 60 new cases in the provincial report.

—With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues

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