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Hamilton’s COVID-19 vaccine program shifting focus as over 250,000 third doses administered locally

HAMILTON, ON – As the number of people remaining to be vaccinated becomes smaller and the community’s management of COVID-19 continues to evolve, Hamilton’s COVID-19 vaccine program will be shifting focus to ensure protection is equally distributed across populations and the community.  In the coming weeks, long-term planning will be undertaken with our partners to support both our Last Mile Strategy, and the transition of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program towards a longer-term sustainable model.

Hamilton Healthcare Partners focus remains on:

  • administering first and second doses to all eligible individuals ages 5+
  • third and booster doses of vaccine to eligible populations
  • administering fourth doses for eligible community members

In order to reallocate much needed resources within an extremely strained healthcare system, there are a number of changes underway to our clinics to support both clinical care by our partners and further reinforce the COVID-19 mobile pop-up channel to be effective and flexible:

  • the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, West 5th COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic will be closing as of end of business day on Friday, January 28, 2022
  • this follows the closure of the Hamilton Health Sciences West End Healthcare Vaccination Clinic on January 17
  • the Mountain Vaccine Clinic at Lime Ridge Mall, and the Centre on Barton Vaccine Clinic will have adjusted hours with adequate capacity to meet current demands for vaccination; appointments and walk-in options are available across vaccine clinics.

Hamilton Public Health Services mobile vaccine clinics are attending local retirement homes to administer fourth doses to residents and third doses to staff and mobile clinics will be increasing access to eligible populations in the coming weeks. Eligibility can be found at www.hamilton.ca/COVIDVaccines. Neighbourhood pharmacies will continue to be an important channel for eligible individuals of all ages to get vaccinated with nearly 25 per cent of all COVID-19 vaccines in Hamilton being administered by pharmacy partners.

In December, the expanded eligibility of third doses to 320,000 community members accounted for the most significant increase in eligibility we have seen to date in our COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Local physicians, nurses, pharmacists and non-clinical staff from a number of organizations, have brought the best of our community to light. Collectively, Hamilton Healthcare Partners quickly scaled up vaccination efforts and expanded Hamilton’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign in a concerted effort to sustain an extremely strained healthcare system for the benefit of us all.  During this period, vaccine doses administered increased from 2,500 doses to over 10,000 doses per day. The addition of several large-scale clinics, community-led clinics, primary care clinics, as well as Ministry of Health led GO-VAXX clinics and additional Hamilton Public Health Services mobile clinics assisted in the expansion during this period. As of end of day January 19, 2022 over a 250,000 third doses have been administered in Hamilton.

Learn about eligibility, available locations, hours of operation and how to book at www.hamilton.ca/GetYourVaccine

“We remain absolutely committed to continuing to work with our partners across the city to save lives, keep people safe and administer the COVID-19 vaccine into as many arms as possible. The human resources needed to address the ongoing pandemic continues to evolve. I want to express my deep gratitude to our partners across the city and the healthcare system for their dedication, resilience and strength as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, blunt the Omicron variant and vaccinate and protect our community.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger

“I would like to thank our partners across the city and healthcare system for stepping up to get more COVID-19 doses in arms during a time of great need. With Omicron cases continuing to surge, it is an important time to transition the vaccine program to ensure that distribution is equal across eligible populations and within the community. The best way community members can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant of concern is to get fully vaccinated, and when eligible, get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, keep their guards up by following the well-established public health measures including wearing a tight-fitting mask properly, maintaining physical distance, limiting their contacts and size of social gatherings, and staying home when they’re unwell.”

–  Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health

Quick Facts

  • Hamilton Healthcare Partners continue to make progress in vaccinating eligible community members. To date, 86.3 per cent of eligible Hamiltonians receiving a vaccine to date, and 81.1 per cent fully vaccinated - 1,163,407 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 254,571 third and booster doses. 46.8 per cent of children aged five to 11 have received a first dose.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends an interval of at least eight weeks between the first and second dose since emerging evidence in adults suggests that compared to shorter intervals, longer intervals between the first and second doses result in a stronger immune response, higher vaccine effectiveness that is expected to last longer, and may be associated with a lower risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis in adolescents and young adults.
  • Based on the NACI recommendation, Hamilton Public Health Services advises community members that eight weeks is recommended for best immune response and decreased risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis, however and as per our clinical protocol and with informed consent, Hamilton Public Health Services permits bookings of a 21-day interval between first and second doses. Community members may wish to consult with their family’s general practitioner, pediatrician or local pharmacist to understand benefits and risks.
  • The Pfizer BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited across all Hamilton COVID-19 vaccine clinics. The Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be reserved for those individuals under the age of 30 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd doses until further notice. Individuals over the age of 30 will be offered the Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine when arriving at a vaccine clinic. 
  • Vaccine administration rates may differ based on local context. All vaccination planning is based on and contingent on available COVID-19 vaccine supply and the necessary health and human resources.
  • 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.  

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