Public health data reveals Hamiltonians not vaccinated have higher risk for COVID-19

The full vaccination rate in the province is now just over 86 per cent, and nearly 93 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have had at least one dose. AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar

A Hamiltonian not vaccinated against COVID-19 is almost 10 times as likely to contract an infection compared to an individual who has had a pair of virus inoculations, according to public health data.

On Wednesday, health officials began releasing additional daily data providing insight into the likelihood of hospitalization or even death should one without two shots come down with the affliction.

“The data will illustrate that COVID-19 vaccines offer a strong level of protection against being infected by the virus and prevent the likelihood of serious illness and hospitalization,” the city said in a release.

Read more: Hamilton needs tens of thousands of vaccines in arms to reach ‘last mile’ target

The initial overall data put out by the city on Wednesday revealed that a person not vaccinated is about 37 times more likely to be admitted to a hospital and 60 times more likely to end up in an intensive care unit (ICU) compared to someone fully vaccinated.

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A non-vaccinated Hamiltonian is about nine times more likely to die from COVID-19, according to the data.

Dr. Timothy Sly, epidemiologist and professor emeritus with Ryerson University, says the Hamilton data is very much in line with a number of other public health units across Canada that have reported similar spikes in cases among those not getting vaccinations.

“In Vancouver, the medical officer reported people in the last couple months who had been diagnosed with the virus, something like 97.8 per cent were unvaccinated,” Sly told Global News.

“Only point two per cent of new cases were fully vaccinated. This is proof positive that the vaccines are overwhelmingly protecting people.”

The new public health data as of Wednesday suggests just over 1,300 non-vaccinated Hamiltonians per 100,000 are currently contracting the virus compared to just 134 per 100,000 of those who have had two shots.

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Being partially vaccinated appears not to offer much more protection, as 992 per 100,000 individuals with just a single shot are coming down with COVID.

Read more: 2 ‘mini mass’ clinics part of Hamilton public health plans to vaccinate kids against COVID-19

The current seven-day average case rate among those not vaccinated is 11.06 per 100,000 as of Tuesday.

Of Ontario’s 328 new cases recorded on Tuesday, the province revealed that more than half were unvaccinated people (177), 16 partially vaccinated, 105 fully vaccinated and for 30 people the vaccination status was unknown.

80% of eligible Hamiltonians over 12 have had second COVID vaccine shot

As of Tuesday, 80 per cent of Hamilton’s eligible population over 12 years of age have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine since the city’s inoculation campaign began in late 2020. Over 84 per cent have had at least a single shot.

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Over 1,000 shots were put into arms at Hamilton clinics on Tuesday, a week over week increase of 21 per cent. For October, the city’s average number of people getting vaccinations on Tuesday is 1118.

Read more: ‘No middle ground’: How children’s COVID-19 vaccination is polarizing parents

The province is reporting more than 10.8 million people are fully immunized in Ontario with two doses, which is 83.4 per cent of the eligible (12 and older) population.

Second shots among all residents in Ontario are at 87.6 per cent as of Tuesday, putting Hamilton behind 30 of the 34 public health units in the province.

City reports 21 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 1 death

Hamilton’s seven-day average number of new COVID cases was up slightly on Wednesday to 24 after four days in a row at 23, according to public health data from Oct. 20.

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The city reported just 21 new cases on Wednesday and a slight increase in active cases day over day from 174 to 178.

More than 34 per cent of those active cases involve residents under the age of 30.

The city recorded its 418th COVID-related death on Tuesday. Public Health data shows another person in their 70s has passed away.

Read more: Ontario reports 304 new COVID-19 cases, lowest daily count since early August

Two new outbreaks were recorded day over day, with one at the Cinnabon in Limeridge Mall and the other at Lean and Fit Elite gym in Ancaster. Both had two cases among staffers, with the gym reporting one case with a patron.

As of Tuesday, the city had nine reported outbreaks involving 27 total cases. The largest surges involve St. Joe’s Charlton Nephrology Unit and a group that had a wedding at the Copetown Woods Golf Club. Both have six cases each.

There are now five outbreaks in schools across Hamilton involving nine students and one staffer.

The latest reported surges are at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Elementary School in East Hamilton and Orchard Park Secondary School in Stoney Creek. Both schools have two student cases each.

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Public schools have had a combined 63 cases over the last 14 days with 58 tied to students.

Read more: Public health says 4th wave likely ‘averted’ in Hamilton but COVID-19 will still be around

There was just one new COVID-related hospitalization reported by the city’s two networks, St. Joe’s and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), day over day.

Combined, the two have 34 patients with 12 in intensive care units.

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