Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health saw a dramatic spike in first-dose vaccine appointments after the province announced a vaccine certificate program last week.
The day after the announcement on Sept. 1, WDG Public Health had 559 first-dose vaccine appointments. Exactly a week before that, it had 210 first-dose vaccine appointments.
“That’s a 166 per cent increase over the previous Thursday,” said WDG Public Health’s spokesperson Danny Williamson adding that WDG Public Health hadn’t seen a daily number that high for first doses since June 30.
Compared with the day prior to the announcement, WDG Public Health saw a 113 per cent increase.
“The previous week day, Wednesday was 262 first doses,” said Williamson about Sept. 1.
“It’s definitely consistent with the upswing across the province since the certificate details came out. I’d want to be careful about drawing an exact link but there certainly seems to be some strong correlation,” said Williamson.
Willliamson said over 42 per cent of the total doses given last week in the region were first doses.
A spike in first-dose vaccine appointments has been seen throughout the province since the province announced its plans to launch a vaccine certificate and verification app which would require Ontarians to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to access certain public settings and facilities. The program is expected to go into effect on Sept. 22.
On Sept. 2, Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted that booking on the provincial system more than doubled.
"Today, we’re already seeing thousands more Ontarians roll up their sleeves, nearly half of whom are receiving their first dose," tweeted Elliott the day after the announcement.
Williamson said it encouraging to see people throughout the region continue to choose to get their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Every one of us who makes the choice to get vaccinated means a little more protection for our community and moves us a little closer to a more full return to normal,” said Williamson.
“If you haven’t yet had a first or second shot, now is the time. You can help keep cases low as our children return to local schools. Getting vaccinated also means you won’t miss out on the places and activities that are important to you as the Province’s proof of vaccination requirements come into effect.”