Following is an update on the COVID-19 vaccine and distribution plans in Hamilton.
I am pleased to share that the COVID-19 vaccination program has started going out to residents at long-term care and high-risk retirement homes using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. At the public Board of Health meeting today, I confirmed with staff that long-term care and high-risk retirement residences across all wards in the city of Hamilton, determined to be high risk of COVID cases, are included in the roll-out based on the prioritization framework as determined by Provincial guidelines.
In addition to the existing fixed-site Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton Public Health Services, in conjunction with Primary Care Physicians and Hamilton Paramedic Services will begin a pilot program and pivot the focus onto this priority group. The mobile clinic will begin at Idlewyld Manor and will expand to include the vaccination of all long-term care home residents and those living in high-risk retirement homes in the city of Hamilton, including residents of homes that are currently in outbreak, by approximately January 18.
While this is a very exciting time, staff would like to remind the community that all non-essential visitors are not permitted at long-term care homes. It is imperative that the privacy of the residents is preserved, and that staff continue to be able to dedicate their time to resident care.
It is expected that vaccines will become available for more people in the winter and spring of 2021. It is expected that by end of 2021 everyone who wants a vaccine will be offered a vaccine free of cost.
To learn more, please visit www.hamilton.ca/COVIDvaccines