Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown called on the province to allocate more second-dose COVID-19 vaccines to provincial hotspots to stay ahead of the latest variant.
The newly named Delta variant of COVID, formerly known as the India variant, has started to make inroads in Peel already.
“The vaccination effort in Peel has been robust,” said Brown, who noted 72% of Peel adults over age 17 and 40% of youth aged 12-17 has received at least their first shot. “But, I remain concerned about the international variant now known as the Delta variant and I just want to underline if the government’s position continues to be that there will be no restrictions on international travel, we do need to have an aggressive second dose strategy in our hotspots.”
Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s medical officer of health, also expressed concerns about the Delta variant.
“We currently have 97 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Peel, including some that were acquired in the community,” he said. “Preliminary analysis suggests that in one month, the Delta variant will be the primary strain in our region, with the rest of Ontario a couple of weeks behind.”
Loh said the first dose of the vaccine seems to provide about 33% to 50% effectiveness, but those with the second dose retain near full protection.
Brown said the second dose is necessary to prevent a spread of the Delta variant similar to the way the Alpha (UK) variant was spread.
“I’m concerned first vaccine coverage will not be adequate when it comes to some of these variants and we’ve got crowded factories and warehouses and that’s how it spread out across the province initially,” he said. “We need to get second doses to our essential workers to make sure that this variant doesn’t take hold, like we’ve seen it take hold in other jurisdictions.”