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Waterloo Region’s COVID-19 vaccination numbers expected to drop Friday with reporting changes

The Region of Waterloo's administration building in Kitchener. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Changes coming Friday to the Waterloo Region COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force’s dashboard are expected to cause some of stats to decrease, according to Vickie Murray.

The head of the task force told the Health Board that they will now be using the 2020 estimate from Statistics Canada for the overall population which includes non-permanent residents living in Waterloo Region.

Read more: Up to 48,000 Waterloo Region kids aged 5-11 to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

“This will move us from a population denominator of 588,878 to a population denominator of 605,232,” Murray explained, as the rise in population would cause overall percentages to drop.

“We’ve taken time to evaluate and analyze recent population data, and we are now ready to update our dashboard accordingly,” she added. “Population estimates are dynamic and constantly changing.”

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The other major change that will be implemented on Friday will see the stats broken down by year of birth rather than age.

“A person’s year of birth does not change, but their age does,” Murray said. “So this keeps our age groups together as a cohort.”

She said that the moves will cause most of the percentages on the dashboard to fall.

Read more: Health Canada to approve Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11 on Friday: sources

Murray told the Board of Health that the 18 to 29-year-old age group will see a drastic drop as it had been previously adjusted to exclude students from outside Waterloo Region including those from foreign lands.

“The change in how we report aid groups will cause a decrease in vaccination values for the 12 to 17-year-old age group and will increase vaccination of our oldest age groups,” she said.

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“But we do feel this more accurately reflects our vaccination progress over time, which means using current updated information.”

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