Hamilton’s top doc hopeful Ontario’s proof of vaccination will lead to shots in more arms

Hamilton’s medical officer of health believes with the province’s vaccine certificate program now in effect as of Wednesday, the city’s lagging vaccination rate among those aged 18 through 39 will get a ‘boost.’

“We do anticipate that that’s going to happen,” Richardson told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton.

“Certainly what we’ve seen is where we’re sitting at, about 50 per cent of the vaccines that we’re giving at this stage are first doses.”

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As of Sept. 22, residents 12 and older in the province need to show proof of vaccination or proof of a legitimate medical exemption when entering some indoor public settings, including restaurants, bars, clubs, concert venues, cinemas and sports venues.

Read more: Ontario reports 463 new COVID-19 cases, smallest increase in five weeks

The proof comes in the form of a vaccination receipt and/or QR code, or a medical exemption with another piece of government-issued ID like a driver’s licence or passport.

Hamilton’s first dose rate among those aged 12-plus is 82.2 per cent as of Tuesday with second doses now at 75.5 per cent.

Among demographics tracked by public health, those aged 12 to 17 have seen the largest increase month over month (Aug. 20 through Sept. 20) in first and second doses with 8.11 and 10.48 per cent increases, respectively.

Meanwhile, shots for 18 through 39 are up 5.07 and 6.16 per cent for the same period.

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About a third of the city’s 270 active cases as of Tuesday – 32.22 per cent – are among people aged 20 through 39.

Richardson says that group appears to have been putting off shots due to a lack of information or bad timing in their busy lives. She suggests the pressure of a certificate program will inspire and has been inspiring them to get fully vaccinated.

“They’re choosing to get vaccinated, and that is fantastic,” said Richardson.

“We know they need two doses to be well protected against the Delta virus. So encouraging them to get that second dose as soon as possible once they’re eligible, they, too, can get full immunity.”

Read more: Ontario COVID-19 vaccine certificate program for many indoor public settings now in effect

Hamilton reports 25 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Public health reported the city’s 411th COVID-19-related death on Wednesday tied to a person over 80.

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The city revealed 25 new cases from Tuesday, but saw a drop in the current active case count, which moved from 293 to 270 day over day.

Hamilton’s seven-day average number of cases also went down ever so slightly by one to 35.

Week over week, the percent positivity rate – tracking the fraction of tests coming back positive for COVID – also dropped to 3.2 per cent from last weeks 4.8 per cent.

Hamilton’s hospitals have two fewer COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday and the number in intensive care (ICU) is down by one. There are a combined 39 patients with Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joe’s; 19 are in ICUs.

Read more: Hamilton businesses prepare to enforce proof-of-vaccination policy ahead of provincial rollout

Three more outbreaks were declared on Sept. 21 at a workplace, school and daycare.

South Meadow Elementary School in Stoney Creek is the latest school to declare a surge tied to two students. There are now five Hamilton schools in outbreaks, with 12 total student cases and a single case in a staffer.

The other outbreaks are at CH Construction in the city’s east end with a pair of cases among workers and Kids & Company daycare in Waterdown with two patron cases.

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There are 17 total outbreaks tied to 57 COVID-19 cases in Hamilton as of Wednesday.

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