Photo courtesy of Chatham-Kent Public Health.

Frustration is mounting with Chatham-Kent’s top doctor over the municipality’s stagnant vaccination rate, particularly when it comes to protecting younger residents.

There are currently six outbreaks in the community, including four schools and a daycare, and 27 active cases in places that focus on children.

Medical Officer Dr. David Colby maintains vaccines are thoroughly tested and effective at reducing severe illness and death from COVID-19.

“You read about breakthrough cases, which people say the vaccination isn’t working, you can still get it if you’re vaccinated. Well yes, you can still get it, but the chances of getting it are lowered immensely. And saying the vaccine doesn’t work is the statistical equivalent of saying that every single time you get into a car, you’re going to get into an accident, it’s just not safe. And we all get in our cars and drive everywhere without even thinking.”

Dr. Colby says nothing is 100%, but the vaccines approved by Health Canada are well tested and safe.

“Whenever there’s an underbelly of worry about this and makes people question whether to get vaccinated, that’s another person that can serve as a source of infection for someone else.”

Of the new COVID cases since July 1st, 74% have been in unvaccinated residents, and another 14% either partially vaccinated, not yet protected, or with an undetermined vaccination status.

“All I’m asking is that people look at vaccines objectively, according to the scientific data, and they cannot come to any conclusion except that they’re safe and effective, and they are the key to getting this over with,” Dr. Colby says.