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Hamilton records over 2,100 COVID-19 vaccine shots in one day, highest in weeks

Newfoundland and Labrador introduced its vaccine passport system Thursday, but the government decided to make an exception for faith communities despite a recent cluster of cases tied to a Pentecostal church. Armando Franca / The Associated Press

Hamilton’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign recorded it’s largest one day uptake since early September Wednesday with the city reporting at least 2,100 shots were put into arms.

The last time the city saw more than 2,000 shots in one day was on Sept. 3 when public health revealed 2,128 shots had been administered.

A spokesperson with the city’s health agency said the spike could not be officially attributed to any one specific occurrence but suggested the implementation of the province’s vaccine certificate program likely did it.

Read more: Ontario reports 677 new COVID-19 cases as 7-day average continues to drop

“There are quite a few mobile clinics taking place these days, yesterday there were several clinics taking place, as well, anecdotally, there may be a small increase due to the proof of vaccination provincial policy,” Jacqueline Durlov told Global News in an email.

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So far for September, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays have been the three days of the week the city has seen above average vaccination numbers.

Hamilton’s average vaccinations per day for September are just over 1,400 but Wednesdays average more than 1,800, Thursdays average close to 1,500 and Fridays average more than 1,800 per day.

A noted Hamilton-based infectious disease specialist at St. Joe’s Hamilton sees the new vaccine certificate as a kind of “band-aid” solution amid a “quasi” point of the pandemic.

Dr. Zain Chagla says despite the province reporting vaccination numbers near 80 per cent, they are only among those aged 12-plus who are eligible for the shot.

“That doesn’t include a pediatric population under 12, that is in fact when you add it up, much less than that,” Chagla said.

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“I think this is a tool we use while we’re still getting immunity within our population.”

As of Wednesday, 75.8 per cent of Hamiltonians 12-plus have been fully vaccinated against COVID, while 82.4 per cent have had a least one dose. The provincial averages as of Wednesday are 79.9 and 85.8 per cent, respectively.

Read more: Vaccine mandates permissible as long as those with exemptions are accommodated: Ontario commission

Hamilton is still tied for second-last among the 34 health regions in two-dose vaccinations, only ahead of Chatham-Kent at 75 per cent.

Dr. Omar Khan, a University of Toronto professor of biomedical engineering, says Pfizer’s clinical trials for use of its COVID vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 are “really big” since a large part of the world’s population is under 12.

As of Thursday, youth under 19 make up just over a quarter of active cases in the city while just over 16 per cent of the 276 cases are among those under the age of nine.

Khan says getting children under 12 vaccinated could help “clear” the virus from much of the population since the immunizations would inhibit its chances of replicating.

“In the under-12s, we have an enormous reservoir of virus,” Khan said.

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Read more: Cineplex’s COVID-19 pandemic response was similar to prospective buyer, other retailers: CEO

“Children under 12 are making up one of the dominant groups of people who carry this, and that just means they are the source of infection for a lot of people.”

On Monday Pfizer said testing showed promising results on children and continues to send Health Canada data on the findings – that data has not yet been peer-reviewed, nor published.

The company went on to say it expects to release clinical trial data as early as the end of October revealing how well the shot works on children aged between 6-months and 5 years.

Hamilton reports 41 new COVID-19 cases, outbreak at Mountain seniors home grows

Hamilton public health reported another 41 new COVID cases on Thursday – the highest daily number since the same day last week.

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The city’s active cases were also up day over day by six checking in at 276 as of Sept. 23.

However, the seven-day average number of cases did drop ever so slightly by one to 34, day over day.

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 week’s 4.8 per cent.

Hamilton’s hospitals have three fewer COVID-19 patients in intensive care (ICU) as of Thursday dropping by three, day over day. There are still 39 patients with both Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joe’s combined; 16 are in the ICU.

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

The outbreak at the Macassa Lodge seniors home has five more cases day over day, with 17 people affected including 10 residents, six staffers and one visitor.

Public health has attributed the city’s 411th death, reported on Wednesday, to a senior over 80 who resided at the home.

A spokesperson from the home has revealed that 96 per cent of residents at Macassa Lodge have been fully vaccinated with two doses, with 68 per cent having received a third dose.

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As per policy, the home did not reveal how many staffers have been vaccinated.

There are now six schools in an active outbreak tied to two students with Lawfield Elementary School on the Mountain added to the list.

The are a total of 14 cases combined between the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the Catholic board (HWCDSB).

Sixty COVID cases are tied to 17 active outbreaks in Hamilton as of Thursday.

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