Health unit offers incentives to get more youth vaccinated
Young people are being asked to walk in, stick it to COVID-19 and win prizes just by getting their vaccines before the start of school – and a possible fourth wave.
With fears the more transmissible Delta variant could spark a fourth wave of COVID-19 amongst unvaccinated individuals, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is strongly urging youth ages 12 to 17 years to get both doses of the COVID vaccine, according to a media release.
Getting COVID-19 vaccine is easy in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Youth can walk into any Health Unit COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Cobourg, Campbellford, Minden and Fenelon Falls to get a first or second dose, without the need for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome 2-7 pm and a full list of clinic dates and locations are available at www.hkpr.on.ca. The drive-through COVID-19 clinic at the Lindsay Exhibition is also offering no-appointment vaccinations for anyone 12 years of age and older.
“Youth need to get vaccinated now to ensure they are either fully or partially vaccinated in time for the start of school,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit. “We tend to see a lot of respiratory viruses in the fall, and with the Delta variant behind most of the new COVID-19 cases, a fourth wave of illness is a real possibility.”
To promote youth vaccinations, the Health Unit is offering an added incentive for youth to get vaccinated with its #StickItToCovid contest:
- Any person ages 12 to 17 years living in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes who have had first or second doses of COVID-19 vaccine by September 30, 2021 will be entered in a prize draw to win Air Pods or Apple gift cards. The prize draw is open to those youth who have previously had their COVID-19 vaccines or plan to get it now.
- To enter, youths or their parent/guardian can email or call the Health Unit and leave a message at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1508. All entries must include the name and phone number of the eligible youth.
The Health Unit is also using the hashtag #StickItToCovid on its social media platforms and as part of its selfie station at each COVID-19 vaccination clinic to encourage youth to take a stand against COVID-19. As part of this, #StickItToCovid videos featuring local youth, parents, athletes and health care providers are also being shared via social media.
“Youth have the power to protect themselves and others from this deadly virus, and by getting vaccinated, they are truly sticking it to COVID,” Dr. Bocking says.
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and approved for use in anyone 12 years and older. Two doses of the vaccine are required at least 28 days apart to get full protection against the virus.
Dr. Bocking says there may be misperceptions about the need for youth to be vaccinated. For example, she says that youth who have already had COVID-19 may think they don’t need to get vaccinated, while others think vaccination is unnecessary since many young people may only have mild symptoms with COVID-19 infections.
“Both of these assumptions could prove dangerous,” says Dr. Bocking. “The Delta variant is much more transmissible and a young person could end up quite ill if they become infected. They could also act as a carrier of the virus, infecting their friends and loved ones. For the health of everyone in the community, we need them to be vaccinated.”