Public health revealed a pair of campaigns on Friday set to target areas of Hamilton that have had low COVID-19 vaccination uptake.
The city says it will reach out via text and email to close to 40,000 people aged 12-plus, urging them to bump up the timeline for their second doses through a number of walk-in clinics beginning Monday.
All large-scale clinics and the ArcelorMittal Dofasco employer-led vaccination clinic will join FirstOntario Centre in offering the walk-ins to aid in completing a series of shots.
Walk-in first doses or shots by appointment through province’s booking portal or through the public health hotline are also options.
The city will also be offering a “stroll-in” outdoor pop-up clinic for first or second doses at Gage Park (1000 Main Street East) on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.
The clinics will operate from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both days and are accepting ages 12 and up.
As of Thursday, public health is reporting close to 671,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the city overall.
Over 75.7 per cent of the city’s adult population (over 18) have received at least one shot of a vaccine while 57.5 percent have had two shots.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger says the key to getting back to normal in the community will be the city’s vaccinations rates, the benchmark used by the provincial government in easing public health restrictions across Ontario.
“So COVID now is the disease for the unvaccinated,” Eisenberger told Global News.
“Those are the folks that are now more and more becoming ill and getting treatment as a result of COVID. That should be a lesson for them to to get that vaccine, because that is the path forward for us to get to a better place in the community as a whole.”
Hamilton moved into step three of Ontario’s reopening plan on Friday and will remain in the designation for at least 21 days until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Ford government’s expectations for the province is an overall adult vaccination rate of 75 per cent second doses, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their eligible residents fully vaccinated.
As of July 16, Hamilton is on the verge of hitting the first dose mark with 74.7 per cent of its 12-plus population having at least one dose. However, only 55.6 per cent of that age range have had a second dose as of Friday.
Just under 63 per cent of people under 30 in the city have had at least one shot of a vaccine while close to 37 per cent have had a second dose.
Over 62 per cent of youth 12 to 17 have had at least one shot of a COVID-vaccine, according to public health data.
As of 8 p.m. on Thursday, more than 17.8 million total COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in Ontario.
There are more than 7.6 million people fully immunized with two doses in the province, which is more than 60 per cent of the adult (18+) population. First dose adult coverage stands at 79.8 per cent.
Hamilton reports 9 new COVID-19 cases
Hamilton reported just nine new COVID-19 cases on Friday for the second day in a row.
The city has 85 active cases, just under 66 per cent involve people under the age of 50.
About 44 per cent of the cases are tied to people under 30 and 23 per cent of active cases involve people under 20.
The city’s weekly test positivity rate is at 2.1 per cent compared to Ontario’s test positivity rate which was 0.6 per cent as of July 16.
Local hospitals have a combined 21 COVID-19 patients as of Friday.
There are 12 at St. Joseph’s with 10 in intensive care (ICU) while Hamilton Health Sciences has 9 cases with just one person in an ICU.
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