‘We are working with the province to load more appointments going forward into the system and those should be available over the next couple of days,” said Hamilton’s medical officer of health.
Joanna Frketich Hamilton Spectator Monday, March 22, 2021
It’s not clear why there were so few spots made available considering Premier Doug Ford said 9,000 Hamilton seniors booked when the provincial portal first opened March 15.
“Check back,” Hamilton’s medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said at a city briefing Monday. “We are working with the province to load more appointments going forward into the system and those should be available over the next couple of days … Please be patient with us.”
FirstOntario has capacity for up to 3,000 appointments a day, while West 5th has been doing 400 to 700 a day.
Earlier, at the city’s board of health meeting, Richardson said that clinic appointments are going unfilled and the issue isn’t the amount of vaccine.
“Supply continues to come, it’s steady” she said. “Right now, it’s essentially the booking process … that’s slowing us down in terms of getting vaccine out. Our clinics right now aren’t absolutely full.”
The other snag has been poor communication around the community mobile clinics, which can only be booked through the city’s COVID hotline. Public health just released Monday where those clinics will be this week and hasn’t provided a long-term schedule.
“We’re not communicating in a way the residents are happy with,” Coun. Judi Partridge said at the board meeting. “They do not understand how to work this system to get their vaccination … I don’t think the answers we’ve got right now are satisfactory.”
Partridge said she’s “absolutely getting flooded” with calls from residents and “some of them are pretty upset.”
“I have a serious concern,” said Coun. Arlene VanderBeek. “Where is the communication to tell people they can now book to get into those units? … If they’re all phoning, is the phone line going to be able to handle that?”
Indigenous adults also have to call the city’s hotline to book after a communications breakdown that had some calling the rollout “muddled” and a break of trust. There was no discussion at the board of health Monday about the rollout for Indigenous residents, who are part of Phase 1 of the province’s vaccination plan.
The city also didn’t provide any indication to the board of how many Indigenous adults have been vaccinated, saying the Indigenous community itself decides on the release of data.
A comprehensive breakdown provided for the first time since the rollout started shows health-care workers are getting vaccinated at a faster rate than any other high-priority group.
Three quarters of health-care workers with the highest priority were vaccinated by end of day Monday and nearly two-thirds of the second-highest priority group — for a total of more than 25,000.
In addition, just over two-thirds of long-term-care staff and one-third of staff in retirement homes have been immunized — for another roughly 3,000 workers.
When it comes to seniors, more than three-quarters of those age 85 and above have been vaccinated and nearly half of those age 80 to 84 — accounting for just over 13,600.
In addition, nearly all of the roughly 5,800 long-term care and retirement home residents have been vaccinated, as well as one-quarter of hospital patients waiting for a spot in a seniors’ home adding around 150 more.
Among the groups with the lowest vaccination rates so far are essential caregivers at long-term care and retirement homes, with just over one in 10 vaccinated for a total of around 1,500.
Just under one-third of shelter staff and residents have been immunized for a total of just over 500.
A mere five per cent of adults receiving chronic home care have been vaccinated for a total of just over 230, despite this group also being among the highest priority in the province and included in Phase 1.
Upcoming mobile clinics
For an appointment call 905-974-9848, option 7
- Stoney Creek Recreation Centre — March 25 to 28
- Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre — March 25 to 28
- Norman Pinky Lewis Recreation Centre — March 27 and 28
- Ryerson Recreation Centre — March 25 and 26
- Indigenous adult pop-up clinic at the Perkins Centre, 1429 Main St. E — March 26, 27, 29
Hamilton’s vaccine rollout
- Estimated overall size of the group and per cent vaccinated as of end of day March 22
- Residents of LTC and retirement homes — 5,827 — 100 per cent LTC and 90 per cent retirement home
- Staff of LTC and retirement homes — 5,710 — 68 per cent LTC and 38 per cent retirement home
- Essential caregivers — 11,654 — 13 per cent
- Health-care workers (highest priority) — 17,590 — 75 per cent
- Health-care workers (second priority) — 18,880 — 64 per cent
- Hospital patients waiting for seniors’ homes — 625 — 25 per cent
- Seniors age 85 and over — 11,427 — 77 per cent
- Seniors age 80 to 84 — 9,805 — 49 per cent
- Shelter residents and staff — 1,650 — 31 per cent
- Indigenous adults — 11,000 — not available
- Adults with chronic home care — 4,654 — 5 per cent.