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90% of Waterloo Region residents aged 18 to 29 have had at least 1 jab of COVID-19 vaccine

Waterloo Region’s vaccine task force says 90 per cent of residents between the ages of 18 and 29 have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

This crushes the provincial average, which sees 73.3 per cent of those in that age group having had a jab of vaccine.

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A similar gap exists when comparing the local average of those fully vaccinated (78.05 per cent) to the province’s numbers (61.3 per cent).

The age group behind them, those aged 12 to 17, surpassed the 75 per cent partially vaccinated mark in Waterloo Region on Monday, although they are not as far ahead of the provincial average of 70.7 per cent.

In fact, every age group under 60 remains well above the provincial averages, but those 60 and over are on the opposite side of the ledger.

The province says 97.2 per cent of those over the age of 80 have had at least a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while locally that number stands at just 87.93 per cent. Similar gaps exist between the 70-year-olds and the 60-year-olds as well.

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The task force reports there have now been 805,385 vaccinations in Waterloo Region, 1,799 more than it reported on Wednesday.

In addition, 388,396 residents are now fully vaccinated, which is 1,091 more than was announced Wednesday.

This means that 65.96 per cent of residents are now fully vaccinated, a number that rises to 76.59 per cent when only factoring in eligible residents.

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On the other side of the equation, Waterloo Public Health reported another 20 positive tests for the coronavirus on Thursday, lifting the total number of cases in the area to 18,719.

This pushes the rolling seven-day average number of new cases up slightly to 18.7. That number stood at 19 a week ago.

The agency also reported that another 19 people have been cleared of the virus, pushing the total number of resolved cases in the area to 18,291.

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And for the first time in three days, there were no new COVID-19-related deaths reported in the region, leaving the death toll at 288, including the six victims this month.

The area currently has 134 active COVID-19 cases, including 17 people who are in area hospitals, 10 of whom are in intensive care.

There are still four active outbreaks in the area after one was declared at the RisingOaks Early Learning Centre in Ayr, while a second has ended at a retail location.

The outbreak involving the Nazarene Christian Congregation has risen from 28 to 30 cases, while the one at the Conestoga Lodge Retirement Residence in Kitchener now sees six cases among residents.

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Elsewhere, Ontario reported 531 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, up from the previous day of 485. The provincial case total now stands at 557,451.

Of the 531 new cases recorded, the data showed 382 were unvaccinated people, 46 were partially vaccinated people, 75 were fully vaccinated people and 28 were unknown.

According to Thursday’s report, 116 cases were recorded in Toronto, 63 in Peel Region, 62 in York Region, 46 in Hamilton and 43 in Windsor-Essex.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 40 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 9,448 as 17 deaths were recorded. However, 15 deaths occurred more than two months ago and were included in Thursday’s report due to a data system cleanup, the Ministry of Health said.

—With files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues

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