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First shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arriving shortly in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – In coming weeks, Hamilton is expecting the first shipment of the Health Canada approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The doses in this shipment will be reserved for people who are at higher risk for COVID-19, as identified by the Government of Ontario.

Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Primary Care Physicians and Hamilton Paramedic Services are working together with Hamilton Public Health Services to establish the city’s first COVID-19 vaccination clinic for long-term care employees. The first clinic is not open to the general public and will be by scheduled appointments only. Those identified to receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be contacted.

Clinic planning is underway based on Provincial guidelines, details will be released when available.

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.

"All of us at HHS are proud to take part in this effort. It perhaps marks the beginning of the end of this difficult period for our hospital and the communities we serve. It’s a ray of light at the end of a very long tunnel.” - Bruce Squires, President, McMaster Children’s Hospital and VP, Women’s and Children’s Health, HHS & Co-Chair of the HCRT Vaccine Logistics Planning

“The news that was announced today by the Province that Hamilton would be receiving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is very uplifting.  It has come at a pivotal time in our community when we are seeing a high number of outbreaks in our congregate care settings, an unfortunate number of deaths, and rising daily case counts.  We are looking forward to working with our hospital partners on getting this momentous project off the ground with hopes of having a positive impact on the health and wellness of our community.” - Michelle Baird, Director, Hamilton Public Health Services and Co-Chair of the HCRT Health Promotion and Immunization Working Group and Logistics Planning

Quick facts

  • 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: 
    • limiting gatherings to only members of your immediate household
    • maintaining 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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