COVID-19: Haldimand-Norfolk’s top doctor discusses concerns about vaccination lag, ‘fifth wave’ – Hamilton

Haldimand-Norfolk’s top doctor said using the term “fifth wave” at a local health board meeting to describe the increased COVID-19 cases could be “a bit sensational”. , but does not change the underlying message.

Acting paramedic Dr Matt Strauss told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton that it could be seen as a “second part” of a fourth wave, not really hitting that Southern Ontario medical unit at the end. summer.

“If you look at the local data in Haldimand-Norfolk, we don’t have a fourth wave,” Strauss said.

“So when cases peaked in Hamilton a few months ago, our cases were still pretty low, and that’s what we’re seeing across the province in places that are currently peaking. They are the ones that caused the fourth wave to be missed a bit. “

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As of Friday, the two counties combined had a seven-day average of 12.71, a significant increase from the same day a month ago when the region had just 4.43 per day.

There are 109 active cases as of November 19 – more than double what was seen two weeks ago – and five deaths in the past six weeks, including four unvaccinated people.

Strauss says not getting vaccinated in a community with active cases is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet or skydiving without a helmet.

“I wouldn’t recommend either activity, both are risky, but I can’t stop you and I can’t protect you from what could happen if you make that choice,” Strauss said. .

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The medical unit has seen a significant increase in immunization rates for 12 years and older since it was reported to be the last of 34 public health units in Ontario in early summer. .

As of Friday, the region’s rate was only slightly below the provincial average of 85.8% fully vaccinated and 88.9 with at least one dose of vaccine.

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The concern for Strauss is the “lagging” in vaccination rates among residents in their 40s, 50s and 60s, where the two-dose rate is only about 80%.

Initiatives the medical unit is taking to enter the new year to raise prices include more pop-up clinics in fire halls, GOVAX buses running around county clinics and schools .

He says an effort also continues to educate those who are hesitant through pamphlets and even giving his advice over the phone.

“I have all the time in the world to talk to those people and discuss their specific concerns,” says Strauss.

“My office got a lot of calls based on that offer, and I think I managed to get a few more pictures on hand that way.”

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