With over 100,000 residents earmarked for COVID-19 vaccine shots in November, Hamilton public health will return to a large fixed vaccination clinic model next month.
A new Mountain clinic at CF Lime Ridge Mall — set to open on Nov. 3 — and a yet-to-be-determined lower city clinic will each dispense close to 550 vaccines per day when opened.
Hamilton’s director of epidemiology and communicable disease control says the size will not match that of the initial vaccine rollout, since shots are more readily available via pharmacies and through other health partners.
“We’ve certainly learned that the effectiveness … of a large-scale clinic allows us to roll larger numbers through in a smaller amount of time,” said Michelle Baird during an media update on Monday afternoon.
“So that’s why were going back to those larger clinics. Certainly not the size that you would have seen previously at First Ontario, but larger in scale than our mobile clinics.”
Baird says public health are expecting demand for shots will rise once again when governments and National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) give the okay for both third doses and vaccinations among those aged 5 to 11.
Hours for the Limeridge site, on the upper level near entrance 5, will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting on Nov. 3 until the 14 before sifting to just afternoons and evenings from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov.15.
Both clinics will operate seven days per week.
Primary care clinics at the David Braley Health Sciences Centre and Winterberry Family Medicine will also still be operating in November.
With the impending ramp-up, the city will be moving away from the provincial COVID-19 vaccine booking system and relying on its own portal effective immediately.
Baird said the change would allow for more “customization” in scheduling those looking to receive their third shot or those in the 5 to 11 age category looking for a first dose.
Those over 12 still looking for first or second doses can still just walk in to most clinics in the city.
Over 80% 12-plus fully vaccinated in Hamilton
On the weekend, Hamilton’s health partners put just under 2,200 vaccine doses in arms with Friday recording the largest intake at 984. That number is still short of the monthly average of daily doses administered through October, which checked in at 1,068.
Vaccinations were down about 28 per cent month over month when compared to the September’s daily average, which was 1,488, and week-to-week daily shots declined 6.91 per cent.
As of Sunday, 81.3 per cent of eligible Hamiltonians over 12 have been fully vaccinated while 85.2 per cent have had at least a single jab. The city is still behind the provincial average which sees 84.5 per cent fully vaccinated and 89.4 with at least one vaccine dose.
There are 31 health regions in Ontario with a better vaccination rate than Hamilton.
Hamilton’s weekly COVID-19 case rates remains steady
Hamilton’s daily COVID-19 case rate generally remained flat over the last three days with the seven-day average checking in at 14 as of Monday — one more than the rate reported on Friday.
The city’s active cases did drop over from the 131 reported on Friday to just 117 as of Monday. Over 53 per cent of Hamilton’s active cases are among those under 30.
The per cent positivity rate remains at 1.70 per cent, which is lower than the provincial average 1.8 per cent as of Sunday.
There are seven reported outbreaks tied to 37 total cases as of Sunday. The largest is at the Lean and Fit Elite gym in Ancaster with 13 cases — seven among staff and six among patrons.
Three outbreaks closed over the weekend at Limeridge Mall Cinnabon and at a pair of schools: Sir Wilfrid Laurier Elementary School and Living Hope Christian School.
COVID-19 hospitalizations saw little change Monday to Friday with the city’s two networks reporting a combined 29 patients again as of Monday.
There are two less intensive care (ICU) cases since Friday with just 9 combined between the two hospital agencies.
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