By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Chatham-Kent received a welcome surprise this week with the announcement that every resident in the province aged 18 and over is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The effort comes sooner than anticipated thanks to a ramp up of vaccine shipments to Canada.
Local teens are getting in on the act too with the announcement the Pfizer shot will be soon be available to youth aged 12 to 17 years.
With the global pandemic now in its 15th month, government leaders are hoping that opening up vaccine eligibility to all adults will assist in returning weary Ontarians to a more normal way of life.
Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby welcomed the news.
“I am pleased that so many people have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated,” Colby said.
“Locally there is a high demand for vaccines, and that’s a good thing because it means better protection for our community as a whole.”
According to federal health officials, an earlier-than-anticipated shipment of 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine is on its way.
Originally, this week’s eligibility was expected to only go down to age 30.
As of Tuesday (May 18) morning, the 18-plus crowd is welcome to book a time for the COVID-19 shot on the online portal at www.GetYourShotCK.ca.
In Chatham-Kent those in the 12 to 17 group will be able to book appointments for the weeks beginning June 14 and 21. The health unit is also looking at adding some special family day vaccine clinics.