Hospital association renews calls for vax as COVID admissions rise

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The CANADIAN PRESS

Ontario’s hospital association is warning that broader vaccination is needed to minimize the impact of the pandemic’s fourth wave as admissions due to the virus rise.

Anthony Dale, president and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), said increasing vaccination rates will help limit the burden on hospitals and reduce any further disruption to non-COVID services.

“People who are unvaccinated are placing themselves and others at direct risk. This is especially true for school children under the age of 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated,” he said in a statement.

More than 90 per cent of COVID-19 patients in intensive care and more than 80 per cent of those hospitalized but not in an ICU are not fully vaccinated with two doses, Dale noted.

As well, uptake of vaccinations has “slowed significantly” recently as case counts increase, he said.

Meanwhile, a report released by Public Health Ontario suggests the emergence of the Delta variant requires a higher rate of immunization to achieve so-called herd immunity, meaning more people need to be vaccinated than are currently eligible for a shot.

“The Delta variant is more transmissible, reduces the effectiveness of a single dose of current vaccines, causes more severe disease and is currently the dominant strain in Ontario,” the report said.

Daily cases have been trending upward in Ontario – there were 660 new infections reported on Wednesday, with 525 of those involving people who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.

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