Facing the highest COVID-19 infection rates in Ontario 30% of Six Nations remains unvaccinated

OHSWEKEN — Six Nations is reporting vaccination rates that are nearly 20% lower than the rest of the province.

According to Six Nations epidemiologists, out of the 12,788 on-reserve resident band members, a total of 7,398 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

That is 57% of the population. For fully vaccinated on-reserve resident band members the total is 7,030 people or 54%.

There are approximately 1277 youth on Six Nations under the age of 12, according to the community’s residency statistics from 2019.

This means there are potentially 4000 on-reserve band members ages 12+ who are eligible for the vaccine and who have not been vaccinated — or 30% of eligible residents.

Six Nations remains with one of the highest incident rates in all of Ontario.

Six Nations now has nearly six times the incidence rate of the city of Hamilton, eight times the incidence rate of Brantford-Brant and 35 times the case load that neighbouring Haldimand-Norfolk is reporting.

To calculate the daily rate of new infections, researchers look at the average number of newly confirmed cases in the last 7 days per 100,000 residents.

This calculation allows health officials to level and compare large cities to smaller towns, giving an equal analysis and gives a better indication of how the virus is spreading in the area.

In theory, the assumption is that a larger county would be expected to have more cases. However at Six Nations, that is not the case.

The per 100,000 infection rate is calculated by taking the number of cases, divided by the total number of people in that population, multiplied by 100,000.

Provincially, when Ontario sees 40 cases per 100,000 they enter into Red alert level. If transmission levels continue to rise after a Red level alert is implemented, the province then moves into lockdown.

Six Nations is currently reporting 258.05 cases per 100,000 people — more than six times the provincial threshold for imposing a lockdown.

Six Nations was moved into an elevated ORANGE alert level in an effort to curb the outbreak. The shift in levels will restrict indoor dining and reduce indoor gatherings to no more than 10 people and takes effect on Monday.

Elected Council is urging all residents 12 and over to get vaccinated immediately.

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