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Premier Ford to give COVID-19 vaccination update in Hamilton

Ontario Premier Doug Ford puts on his Toronto Maple Leafs mask during the daily briefing in Toronto in February 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Premier Doug Ford will get a tour of Hamilton’s mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at FirstOntario Centre on Thursday afternoon.

Ford will see firsthand one of the 113 large-scale clinics in 26 of 34 public health units set for mass vaccinations in the province’s Phase 2 plan.

Hamilton public health will launch the first of two large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the city on Monday. Rosedale arena is also being prepared for a clinc with an opening date yet to be announced.

Read more: Brant County likely moving to ‘Red-Control’ level of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework, says MOH

The FirstOntario clinic is expected to have the capacity to administer 3,000 vaccine shots per day.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), primary care physicians and Hamilton Paramedic Services will help manage and staff the sites.

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Queen’s Park is expecting to administer 80 per cent of all provincial vaccinations through mass clinics during phases 2 and 3 of its plan.

Hamilton remains in the red-control level of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework amid the premier’s visit.

On Friday, the city’s emergency operations centre director said the city’s recent case metrics are not great signs for staying out of another lockdown.

 

Paul Johnson said recent bumps in a number of key epidemiological measurements, including case rates, the reproductive numbers and the number of active outbreaks, could put staying in the ‘red – control’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework at risk.

“We’ve seen a steady growth in that number per 100,000 and the reproductive number, that was just released based on seven days yesterday, still shows that we’re above one and that also isn’t a great indicator.” Johnson said in an update on Friday.

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Read more: Separating noise from signals: How ‘adverse reactions’ to COVID-19 vaccines are investigated

The city’s weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 population checked in at 78 as of March 17, which’s 38 above the 40 per 100,000 threshold set by the province for a stay in the ‘red’ category.

Also of concern is the percentage of positive cases among all COVID-19 tests in the city over the last seven days, which checked in 2.9 — above the province’s recommended maximum of 2.5 per cent.

The city’s reproductive number was at 1.15, ever so close to the 1.2 maximum for the ‘red’ level.

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