February 19 2021
HAMILTON, ON – Today, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, presented the local COVID-19 vaccine plan to the City of Hamilton’s Board of Health Committee. This plan spoke to the phasing as recommended by the Province’s COVID-19 Vaccination framework, as well as how Hamilton Public Health Services will work with the Hamilton Health Partners and other community partners to implement this plan. The city of Hamilton’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan was presented to the Province late last week and was met with positivity and praise.
The plan remains in an evergreen state, ensuring that it remains flexible and adaptable due to the vaccine supply and prescribed timelines by the Province. The local change to provincial vaccination goal is vaccinating at least 75% of eligible residents using multiple modalities. Locally, the modalities to reach people will include up to five large-scale clinics spread across the city, mobile clinics/on-site clinics including pop-up facility clinics, mobile bus clinics, rolling clinics and drive-through clinics. Plans also include the use of primary care offices and pharmacies as a way of further distributing the COVID-19 vaccine during later phases of the plan. The vaccination plan also speaks to engagement work taking place with representatives of our vulnerable and marginalized populations in the city to ensure that everyone in our community is prepared to receive the vaccine once they are eligible to do so.
The Hamilton health partners have begun vaccinating members of the community who fall into Phase 1 of the Province’s COVID-19 Vaccination framework. To date, we have administered 26,082 vaccines, with approximately 9,550 second doses complete. The city of Hamilton currently has two vaccine clinics, a mobile vaccination clinic and a large-scale fixed-site clinic, as well as one additional large-scale clinic opening its doors in early March.
Currently, the following eligible populations are in the processes of receiving first and second dose of vaccination locally:
- Residents in long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes.
- Staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes.
- Alternative level of care (ALC) patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors.
- Healthcare workers.
Within the next 2-3 weeks, the following populations will be eligible to receive first dose of vaccination locally:
- Adults 80 years of age and older.
- Staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors (e.g., assisted living).
- Health care workers in the High Priority level, and in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization.
- All Indigenous adults.
- Adult recipients of chronic home care.
Registration and booking for the next group of eligible recipients will open within the next 1-3 weeks. Information regarding registration, booking, and sequencing will be available on the COVID-19 Vaccines section of the City’s website at www.hamilton.ca/COVIDvaccines.
We need to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, to reserve healthcare and hospital capacity and to protect vulnerable settings like long-term care homes.
- Vaccination roll-out is 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.
- 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.
- It is vital that members of the public, even those who have been vaccinated, 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:
- 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
- limit gatherings to only members of your immediate household
- maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet or 2 meters from others outside of your immediate household
- wear a mask or face covering indoors and outdoors when not able to maintain physical distancing
- wash hands frequently
“Every resident of Hamilton should be able to access a vaccine and that is what our teams are working towards with our local COVID-19 vaccine plan. I encourage everyone in Hamilton to be ready for their turn to be vaccinated as with every vaccine dose administered, the light at the end of the tunnel gets a bit brighter. The collaboration between Hamilton Public Health Services, Hamilton health partners and other community partners to implement this vaccine plan is a testament to our dedication in protecting the health and wellbeing of all Hamilton residents.”
– Mayor Fred Eisenberger