This area has Ontario’s highest vaccination rate. One of the lowest is just 100 km away – CBC

While Leeds, Grenville and Lanark celebrate sky-high uptake, Cornwall sounds alarm

Oct 12, 2021

A lone man pickets on the main street of Smiths Falls, Ont., hoisting up a miniature Canadian flag and his homemade sign — a mid-day one-man protest against COVID-19 vaccinations.

Some stare, but no one engages. After all, the area is home to the highest vaccination rate in Ontario.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit — which includes communities like Smiths Falls, Brockville and Carleton Place — reports 91 per cent of its eligible population is fully vaccinated, while nearly 97 per cent have one dose.

That’s multiple percentage points ahead of the next highest health unit, Thunder Bay.

It’s no surprise to Dick Michel. He saw first hand how many people got vaccinated while volunteering at clinics in Athens, a tiny township 25 kilometres from Brockville. He stood in the pouring rain and hot sun, helping park hundreds of cars and manage the flow in and out of the clinics.

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