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Hamilton reports 8 new COVID-19 cases, closing in on goal of 75% fully vaccinated by August

A box containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is sits in a packing box to be shipped from the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool) . AP file photo

Hamilton is narrowing in on public health’s target of having 75 per cent of adults in the city fully vaccinated by August, according to the medical officer of health.

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson told city councillors during a general issues committee meeting on Monday that the city’s vaccination program has reached over 74.1 per cent of the population 18-plus and 73 per cent of the people 12 and over with at least one shot.

As of July 5, more than 40 per cent of those aged 12 and up have had two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more: Ontario reports 170 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Richardson said with “good supply” arriving and booked up clinics across the city, she anticipates hitting the three-quarter mark by the end of the month.

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“We had a wonderful clinic on Canada Day. It was youth focused, but youth and their families both came out,” Richardson said.

“We planned for 200 people to be vaccinated at that mobile clinic that day and 206 people were vaccinated, including 85 first doses.”

However, the MOH admitted “an enduring issue” with the vaccination program will be a “variability by a postal codes” across the city as some sectors lag behind other in getting shots into arms.

As of Monday, five Hamilton postal codes — L8H, L8J, L8L, L8R, and L8M — had not reached 60 per cent in first dose vaccinations while less than 15 per cent of residents have had a second shot.

“They’re an enduring issue, of course, because they’re rooted in the social determinants of health and they’re going to continue to be our focus as equity has been throughout the vaccination campaign,” said Richardson.

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Public health have a number of campaigns in the field working with those who have impediments is accessing vaccines or may be hesitant in getting one.

Outreach includes the Refuge, which works with new immigrant and refugee health at Restoration House, De dwa da dehs ney>s Aboriginal Health at the Perkins Centre, the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre (HRIC), the Mountain Islamic centre and the deployment of vaccine ambassadors, who work with racialized and Indigenous populations.

“Our homebound strategy has gone very well with our EMS partners having vaccinated about 1,600 people directly in their homes,” Richardson said.

Over 570,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered as of Sunday in Hamilton.

Read more: Canada set to receive 3.7M COVID-19 vaccine doses this week

Ontario reported more than 15.7 million total COVID-19 vaccine doses had been given out as of July 4 with more than 4.8 million people fully immunized with two doses.

About 68 per cent of Canada’s population has now had at least one vaccine dose as of Sunday. Over 39 million shots have been administered in the country reaching over 75 per cent of the population over 12 with at least one dose.

The federal government is expecting to receive 3.7 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, bringing the total of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries above 53.7 million doses.

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The new deliveries will include about 900,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 2.8 million doses of Moderna vaccine.

Hamilton reports eight new COVID-19 cases, under 100 active cases

Hamilton reported just eight new COVID-19 cases on Monday, and a slight drop in active cases day over day from 96 to 94.

Over 50 per cent of active cases are among people under the age of 30, according to public health data.

The city’s test positivity is at 2.4 per cent as of Monday, slightly higher than the province’s daily number which checked in at 1.3 per cent.

Read more: Hamilton, Toronto closing field hospitals amid dropping COVID-19 hospitalizations

There are no reported outbreaks in Hamilton as of Monday.

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Local hospitals have a combined was 26 COVID-19 patients at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joe’s.

HHS had 13 COVID-19 patients as of Monday with just two in ICUs. St. Joe’s has 13 COVID-19 cases, nine in ICUs.

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