Delta variant prompts calls for Ontario to prioritize Peel for second vaccine doses


Politicians and public health experts are urging the Ontario government to prioritize Peel Region for second doses of COVID-19 vaccines due to a contagious variant threatening the area.

The public health unit west of Toronto has long been a COVID-19 hot spot due in large part to the numerous essential workplaces in the area, and experts warn the Delta variant is now spreading in the region.

Evidence suggests a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine is not as effective against that variant, which first emerged in India, so Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says the province must prioritize the region for second doses.

He says Premier Doug Ford’s government erred in its initial vaccine rollout when it failed to prioritize hot spots, and must learn from its mistakes.

The co-chair of Canada’s federal vaccine task force tweeted that he agrees the province must send extra shots to Peel.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, the top public health doctor in the region, says Peel has the highest proportion of the Delta variant in the province.

As of Wednesday, the public health unit had detected nearly 100 cases of the variant, and Brown notes that it’s only screening half of all positive tests for the strain.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press