Local residents can get a COVID-19 vaccine in town this Tuesday, November 14, as Chatham-Kent Public Health updated its schedule for the remainder of November last week. The vaccine clinic occurs from 3-7 p.m. at Ridgetown District High School. The clinic is by appointment only, as bookings can be made online at www.ckphu.com/covid-19/ and click on the Book Vaccine Appointment link. Appointments can also be booked by calling 519-351-1010 and leaving a message, as staff will call back. The Pfizer and Moderna XBB COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone six months of age and older, and it has been at least six months since their last shot.
Health Ontario recommends that everyone six months and older get an XBB1.5 COVID-19 booster vaccine this fall.
Public Health also updated its health clinic service office schedule in the WISH Centre on King St. E. in Chatham. COVID-19 shots will be available this Friday, Nov. 17, and Monday to Friday, the week of Nov. 20-24 and Monday to Thursday, the week of Nov. 27-30. These clinics are also by appointment only, running from 9 a.m.- noon and 1-4 p.m. each day. These clinics are offering the COVID-19 vaccines only.
To get a free flu shot, contact your care provider or visit your local pharmacy where COVID-19 vaccines are also available, as Health Canada has stated it is safe to get a flu shot at the same time as the Pfizer or Moderna XBB.
The COVID-19 case counts in Chatham-Kent rose in the last two months of October.
According to data on the provincial public health surveillance and data report, there were five cases reported the week of Oct. 8-14, 27 the week of Oct. 15-21 and 44 the week of Oct. 22-28.
The provincial site also reported there was one COVID-19-related death in September and one in October, along with only one hospitalization and seven outbreaks over the two months in Chatham-Kent.
Public Health’s plan to launch a new online weekly respiratory illness surveillance report has been delayed because of the ransomware attack at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.
The weekly report will highlight the current levels of respiratory virus activity based on local trends in hospitals, influenza and COVID-19 case counts, positivity percentages and respiratory illness outbreaks in local long-term care, retirement and hospital facilities.
Once operational, the seasonal respiratory surveillance bulletins will be posted every Friday until April.Public Health halted its COVID-19 dashboard in May as the number of cases dwindled.
Michael Bennett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News