Island vaccination rate top in region


MANITOULIN – The chief of staff for Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) sang the praises of the MHC, Manitoulin Island health care workers and agencies volunteers and the entire Island community for its tremendous work in getting COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of local residents.

“I want to show everyone what was presented to us this past Friday (at a meeting with public health) that shows Manitoulin is the leader in all areas within Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) in having had the highest percentage of people having received the vaccines (over 77 percent),” said Dr. Simone Meikleham, MHC chief of staff in a report she provided at the regular MHC board last week. 

“Public health provided the great news that Manitoulin Island leads our health unit in the number of vaccinated adults 18 plus at 77.8 percent,” said Dr. Meikleham in her report to the board. By comparison, Greater Sudbury sits at 53.5 percent and Espanola region sits at 52.4 percent.

Dr. Meikleham pointed out Chapleau is the closest area in terms of the numbers that Manitoulin has garnered. “Congratulations to all those involved in the vaccine efforts. This includes many from MHC who made the first vaccine clinics possible and set the stage for future success. It also recognizes the ongoing efforts of MHC and all other health leaders, health agencies, communities, First Nations, workers and members of the community who worked to assist with vaccination clinics.” 

“I was asked at the meeting, ‘what are you doing that you are getting those numbers?’” Dr. Meikleham told the board. “It made me reflect on the collaborative nature of everyone on Manitoulin.”

“It’s testimony to the hard work for example initiated by Tim (Vine) and Paula (Fields) co-CEOs of MHC, in helping to get started, Dr. Maurianne Reade, who sits on several committees involved in this, the support of First Nation, municipalities, the health unit and community volunteers,” continued Dr. Meikleham. “The board should be proud of the work MHC did, and everyone from the greater community of Manitoulin Island.” 

“We all are very proud of what the MHC team, and the entire Island community has done,” said MHC Chair Terry  Olmstead. 

Board member Barbara Baker, who is a member of council for the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI) said, “one of the things we hear at council every week  is how everyone on the Island, MHC, public health, First Nations, communities and agencies, volunteers, everyone has come together and how cooperative everyone is and how fantastic and well organized the vaccine clinics are being run.”