OTTAWA -- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) has announced that 90 per cent of the eligible population (ages 12+) have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The health unit says it is the first health unit in Ontario to reach that mark.

In a media release, the medical officer of health for the LGLDHU says she is proud of the community for achieving the feat.

“The partnerships and commitment from staff, municipalities and our healthcare partners are remarkable and reflect the strength of our rural communities," Dr. Paula Stewart said. "This high level of vaccination will reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our community, and prevent hospitalizations and death.”

Acting director for the Healthy Living and Development department, Rebecca Kavanagh, says there were multiple factors in how the vaccination strategy was implemented.

"Many of our local municipalities have opened their doors to us and allowed us to come into their hockey rink or community centres, and arranged to have community volunteers help out at the local clinics. Our local healthcare partners have worked tirelessly alongside us to support our vaccine clinics and also to provide vaccine in their own settings. Many pharmacies across the region have made the vaccine accessible to people locally, and Paramedics have also been able to reach those at home who have serious health conditions and who cannot get to a vaccination site," Kavanagh said in the release.

"All of these efforts have helped to bring vaccine close to where people live.”

In total, more than 95 per cent of the eligible population have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 90 per cent have two doses.

The LGLDHU is encouraging residents in the 18-29 age range to get a COVID-19 vaccine.