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COVID-19 Vaccination Program expansion in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Beginning today, the COVID-19 vaccination program is going out to residents at long-term care and high-risk retirement homes using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In addition to the existing fixed-site Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton Public Health Services, in conjunction with Primary Care Physicians and Hamilton Paramedic Services will begin a pilot program and pivot the focus onto this priority group.  The mobile clinic will begin at Idlewyld Manor and will expand to include the vaccination of all long-term care home residents and those living in high-risk retirement homes in the city of Hamilton by January 18, 2021, including residents of homes that are currently in outbreak.

While this is a very exciting time, we are requesting that no media attend the homes during their clinics and would like to remind the community that all non-essential visitors are not permitted at long-term care homes. It is imperative that the privacy of the residents is preserved, and that staff continue to be able to dedicate their time to resident care.

Hamilton’s health system is continuing to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, following the priority framework set out by the provincial government, to preserve healthcare and hospital capacity and to protect people in vulnerable settings like long-term care homes.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination in Hamilton at www.hamilton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

Quick facts

  • The criteria for selecting the sequence of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes was based on the following: risk of COVID-19 transmission, previous and current outbreak status, scheduling logistics in order to complete as soon as possible.
  • Hamilton is expecting more information from the Provincial Government regarding the local distribution of the Moderna vaccine which will allow more of the priority populations to be vaccinated.
  • The current fixed-site vaccination clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences will continue to take place 12 hours a day, seven days a week to deliver vaccine as the supply is received from the provincial government. This is a by appointment only clinic for eligible priority groups and walk-ins are not permitted.
  • Vaccination roll-out will be based on the prioritization framework as determined by Provincial guidelines. 
  • It is expected that vaccines will become available for more people in the winter and spring of 2021. It is expected that by end of 2021 everyone who wants a vaccine will be offered a vaccine free of cost.
  • It is vital that members of the public ensure that public health measures still be practiced until it is safe and said to be safe by the health professionals in all levels of government.  Public health measures include: 
    • limit gatherings to only members of your immediate household
    • maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or 2 meters from others outside of your immediate household
    • wash hands frequently
    • wear a mask or face covering indoors and outdoors when not able to maintain physical distancing
    • stay home if you are feeling unwell
    • get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or have been in close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19
  • Working groups from across Hamilton’s health sector continue to work to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are distributed effectively and equitably once they arrive locally. Teams are focused on implementing the provincial framework to ensure prioritization of key populations is met and that the logistics around local storage and distribution of vaccine supply are ready to be operationalized.

“The continued expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination program is extremely important in Hamilton right now, and I am eager to have our teams begin vaccinating some of our most vulnerable population. I am encouraged by the amazing work that is taking place at the current clinic and now the expansion to include mobile clinics.  This is about protecting those most at risk of COVID, saving lives and preserving healthcare capacity for all. We need to continue to fight against COVID-19 in our community.” – Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health

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