Local residents should expect a fourth wave of COVID-19 to sweep through Sarnia-Lambton this fall, says the acting Medical Officer of Health.
While the numbers are currently relatively low, an upswing is inevitable as summer ends and people move back indoors, Dr. Christopher Greensmith said today.
“(The pandemic) is not behind us. It’s with us and it’s going to come back as another wave anticipated in the September-October timeframe.”
Lambton Public Health reported four new cases of COVID-19 today, with 20 active cases.
Greensmith said a fourth wave dominated by the more infectious Delta Variant adds urgency to continued community vaccinations.
With just 72.3% of adults and 19.2% of youth fully vaccinated, Sarnia-Lambton lags behind both the provincial and national vaccination rates.
The target for community protection is 90% target, said Greensmith, who added the biggest barrier to reaching that goal is widespread disinformation about vaccines.
“This is about protecting the community, and though individual rights are very important, the rights of the community are important as well. I personally believe there should be consequences to not being vaccinated,” he said. “It’s not your right to be an infectious risk to others.
“Unless you’re allergic to some component of the vaccine you really should get the vaccine,” he added.
Upcoming clinics are planned for Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, 7,9 at the Point Edward Optimist Hall. To book an appointment, visit lambtonpublichealth.ca.
Others are planned for Great Lakes Secondary School and Lambton College. Some local pharmacies also offer shots. A list is available at getthevaccine.ca.
Some high-risk individuals including transplant recipients and those with certain cancers have already been identified for a third booster vaccine, Greensmith said.
Third shots for residents in long-term care homes and First Nations lodges will roll out in the coming weeks, he added.
There is currently no recommendation for the general population to get a third shot, but that could change, Greensmith said.