WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed has increased the target coverage percentage for herd immunity against COVID-19.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed says he would like to see 90 per cent vaccination coverage in the region.

“We need that 90 per cent to do fully, fully feel that we are safe and protected and we are not there yet,” says Ahmed. “We won’t be there in the near future, but we definitely don’t wanna see a fourth wave, we definitely don’t want to see a lockdown.”

Ahmed said they have set up a minimum target of 80 per cent but would like to see it go up to 90 per cent.

In March, Ahmed said he wanted to reach a 60 per cent vaccination rate to achieve herd immunity, but the Delta variant makes it even more important to get a higher percentage of the population vaccinated.

“The science table has put out modeling and with the highly transmissible Delta strain,” says Ahmed. “They would like to see a vaccination coverage of 90 per cent so we can see that that’s the target for the herd immunity.

WINDSOR-ESSEX RESIDENTS VACCINATED:

  • 284,595 WEC residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine
  • 44,503 WEC residents have received only 1 dose of a vaccine
  • 240,092 WEC residents have received both doses of a vaccine
  • A total of 524,687 doses have been administered to WEC residents
  • 76.8% of WEC adults have received at least 1 dose
  • 80.6% of adults in Ontario have received at least 1 dose
  • 65.7% of WEC adults are fully vaccinated
  • 66.3% of adults in Ontario are fully vaccinated

Windsor Regional Hospital’s chief of staff Dr. Wassim Saad says vaccines are helping drive down the COVID cases. There were only three people in hospital with the virus as of Friday.

“For the most part most places are in good shape and it’s directly tied to the vaccination program,” says Saad.

Infectious Diseases expert Dr. Gerald Evans says there isn’t a specific magic vaccination number to stamp out COVID.

“Herd immunity is not a threshold, it isn’t like you hit 90 and now everything is great and below 90 everything is terrible. It is a gradient,” says Evans.

Even though vaccines can speed up herd immunity, Evans says endemic status is likely a few years away.

“By 2023, which is a couple of years from now, we’ll have most of the globe immunized and at that point I think we’ll have seen the evolution of this virus to an endemic one,” says Evans.