Seniors living in hotspots, poverty have lowest vax rate in age group

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Seniors living in COVID-19 hotspots, poverty or ethnically diverse neighbourhoods have the lowest rate of vaccination in their age group, the Ontario Science Table reports.

“Lower rates of vaccination were most pronounced among older adults who had no regular contact with a primary care physician,” the report says. “Community-dwelling older adults remain at disproportionately high risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19, and efforts should be made to maximize vaccination in this population.”

The public health experts also found that Ontarians ages 80 years and older had the lowest increase in first dose vaccination among all eligible older adults between April 26-June 7, which suggested that vaccination rates in that age group may have plateaued.

The science table’s report says that 97% of residents of long-term care (LTC) are vaccinated, compared to 93% of elderly residents who live in the community.

“Those aged 80 years and older, who are at very high risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes, continue to have a lower vaccination rate than those living in LTC homes, and not all of them have an assigned primary care physician to help guide their care and access to COVID-19 vaccination,” the report says.

The report recommends making concerted efforts to reach those who do not have a family doctor through efforts such as pharmacies, mobile vaccination clinics, door-to-door outreach, and a focus on high-risk neighbourhoods.

The province administered 91,320 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine Sunday — 18.2 million for a pandemic total — and almost 8 million Ontarians are now fully vaccinated.

Ontario reported 130 new cases and 153 resolved cases Monday with no additional deaths.

“Locally, there are 18 new cases in Toronto, 17 in Peel Region, 16 in the Region of Waterloo, 14 in Hamilton, 10 in Grey Bruce, and 10 in Middlesex-London,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted.

These findings were based on 11,567 tests.

Hospital intensive care units cared for 151 COVID-19 patients, including 94 on ventilators, but these numbers are down generally.

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