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Youth Contest Winners Announced, as Efforts Continue to Hit 90% Overall Vaccination Rate

PORT HOPE, ON (October 13, 2021) - A trio of local youth have discovered there’s added incentive to getting COVID-19 vaccines, not only in being better protected against the virus, but also winning prizes.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s #StickItToCOVID contest wrapped up at the end of September. Nearly 400 contest entries were received from local youth. The #StickItToCOVID contest was open to youth ages 12 to 17 years in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes who received a first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose by the end of September.

A 15-year-old male student from Northumberland County captured the main prize of a $250 Apple gift card. A 16-year-old female student and 15-year-old male student, both from the City of Kawartha Lakes, also took home prizes of a $150 Amazon gift card and a $100 Amazon gift card respectively.

“We congratulate these three individuals, and all youth who entered the contest and rolled up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccine,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health, with the HKPR District Health Unit. “It’s important that youth ages 12 years and older get vaccinated. Even though they may not have severe symptoms of COVID-19, they can be an important driver for the spread of the virus to other people, especially those more vulnerable to the virus due to age and medical reasons.”

Over the next week, the Health Unit is holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics at high schools in Fenelon Falls, Brighton, Lindsay, Port Hope and Cobourg for students, as well as staff, parents, family members and community members. No appointments are needed, and both mRNA vaccines will be available. Click here for a full list of COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Currently, 86.3% of eligible residents aged 12 years and older have received one dose of vaccine, and 81.5% of local residents have both doses. This means approximately 24,000 people in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes are still eligible for a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. To reach a 90% overall vaccination rate for the area, roughly half of these individuals would need to get vaccinated.

“It’s been a remarkable achievement to get as many COVID-19 vaccines into arms as we’ve been able to do this year,” adds Dr. Bocking. “I’d encourage anyone who still needs COVID-19 vaccine to get one. Vaccines greatly reduce your risk of becoming seriously sick with COVID-19 or being hospitalized.”

A 90% overall vaccination rate is a target Ontario’s Chief Public Health Officer has set in order to provide a high level of community protection against the virus. Dr. Bocking says this target is achievable and needed, especially with the Delta variant being much more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus.


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