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26% of Sarnia-Lambton residents have had first COVID-19 shot

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Troy Shantz

One in four eligible residents of Sarnia-Lambton has now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot.

About 30,000 people have received at least one dose and more than 1,500 are fully immunized with two shots, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health said Thursday.

“Thirty thousand is a nice milestone to have reached,” Dr. Sudit Ranade said. “We think that’s about 26% of the eligible population.”

Nationwide, about 17% eligible Canadians have had at least one dose.

Registration is underway for residents 60 years of age and over and others eligible in Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout.

More than 5,000 local residents used the Ontario online system to book an appointment in the previous 24 hours, Ranade said Thursday.

Local COVID-19 numbers have been improving slightly this month. Lambton Public Health reported 119 active cases Thursday, down from 178 on April 1. The number of outbreaks fell to nine from 12.

Two more people have died this month, increasing the total to 52.

Officials have identified 174 cases involving a variant of concern, which is 41 more than April 1.

Three local pharmacies are offering the AstraZeneca shot to residents 55 years and older, Ranade said. Booking should be made directly with the pharmacies at the Loblaws Superstore in Sarnia, Bright’s Grove Family Pharmacy, and Forest Pharmacy.

A 400-dose batch of AstraZeneca vaccines is also being distributed to homebound residents through a mobile team that began Thursday.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to offer through mobile clinics than the more fragile Moderna and Pfizer shots, Ranade said.

“We’ve been struggling with this a little bit. Transporting Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is difficult,” he said, referring to Canadian-approved vaccines that require deep-freeze storage.

Meanwhile, Ranade said “most if not all” of the residents involved in an outbreak at Rosewood Retirement Village were already fully vaccinated.

Nineteen residents and two staff have tested positive since the outbreak began at the Sarnia retirement home on March 23.

Ranade said he believes at least one of them is being treated in hospital.

“It would be too soon for us to make any claims based on that, if we’re just talking about one person,” he said.



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