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Fully-vaccinated person died with COVID-19 in Hamilton: public health

In a release Friday the commission said it's been made aware of fake pamphlets making the rounds in Manitoba that have the appearance of being issued by the commission. Robin Utrecht / ABACAPRESS.COM

Hamilton public health have confirmed that one of the city’s 399 COVID-19 related deaths was a individual that had been fully vaccinated.

Medical officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said the death was “very unfortunate” and that specifics about the case can’t be revealed for privacy reasons.

She also could not address if the individual actually died from COVID-19 or perhaps an underlying health condition.

Read more: Mix-and-matching AstraZeneca and Pfizer boosts immune response, study finds

“So any of those sorts of cases would need to be looked at, reviewed, decided what what was happening there,” said Richardson in a media briefing on Monday.

“Of course, that’s more in the realm of the coroner and others in terms of what happens on that front when we’re thinking about it as we go forward.”

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Richardson also did not have any timeline on when the individual had received their vaccine shots and whether they had reached maximum protection through the vaccine.

In a recent epidemiological study, Public Health Ontario recorded roughly 1,650 fully vaccinated in the province became infected with COVID, of the more than 9.4 million having had at least one dose between mid-December and mid-June

As of June 12, just over 14,000 people with one shot contracted the affliction.

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The province’s study revealed 53.1 per cent of post-vaccinations occurrences — referred to as ‘breakthrough cases’ —  were in individuals that had not reached maximum protection having acquired symptoms less than 14 days after their first dose.

Only 4.8 per cent of cases were recorded seven or more days after a second dose.

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The province says overall breakthrough cases were small in all age demographics but highest in those 80 or over.

Thirty-two deaths were reported among breakthrough cases between Dec. 14 to June 12 in Ontario. Twenty-five were people over 80-plus.

Richardson said it’s important to note that the deaths are “very, very rare” and often related to some other illness that an individual already has.

“What is so very, very important is that really these vaccines are way, way better in terms of preventing hospitalizations, preventing severe illness, preventing deaths that are related to COVID-19 than any of the side effects that we might see,” Richardson said.

Read more: All Ontario adults eligible for faster 2nd shot of COVID-19 vaccine

In terms of the science around when to get a second COVID-19 vaccine dose, the MOH says the medical community is still “learning as we go,” and that some immunology suggest waiting could give a slight bump to someone’s immune status.

“But remember, we’re also thinking about the variants that are circulating and wanting to make sure we have maximum protection in that kind of environment,” Richardson said.

“So as we saw Alpha with the second wave and into the third, now the the Delta virus variant has emerged, we are encouraging people to get their second doses as early as they’re eligible to do so.”

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