Hamilton low on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, city says


Published December 20, 2021 at 8:05 pm


Your age will determine which brand of mRNA vaccine you receive in Hamilton.

The City of Hamilton announced Monday evening that “as of December 21,” which is tomorrow, the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine supply will become limited across all Hamilton COVID-19 vaccine clinics. Consequently, Pfizer doses will be reserved for people under age 30 until further notice. Individuals over age 30 will be offered the Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine when arriving at a vaccine clinic.

“We will continue to work with the province to procure more Pfizer BioNTech supply as it is made available,” the release said.

Hamilton Public Health Services recommends that everyone who is eligible for a vaccination receive the first vaccine that is available to them.

Mixing COVID-19 vaccines is considered safe and effective, and enables Ontarians to benefit from the protection of a booster dose. Both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against COVID-19 and its variants, including Omicron.

However, Pfizer is approved to give to children ages 5 to 17. Children age 5 to 11 receive a smaller dose.

Hamilton is adding capacity to several of its vaccination clinics, including ones at the Centre on Barton, Limeridge Mall, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton West 5th Campus and David Braley Health Sciences Centre. Winterberry Family Medicine (winterberrymedical.ca) is another clinic that is expanding capacity.

Hamilton’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, has said the target is to give 8,000 jabs per day. Prior to the advent of Omicron, the city was averaging about 2,500. Its highest single-day output since the new measures went into effect was 6,278 last Friday (Dec. 17), with deceases into the 5,000 range over the weekend (5,117 on Saturday, 4,870 on Sunday).

Richardson cautioned Monday, though, that the target is tied to whether the city will have enough staff. The city has job postings for clinical and non-clinical positions.

“That is if we are able to secure the human resources, particularly the health human resources that we need to have in order to deliver these doses. As we go forward and people become ill or are required to be isolated, that will put further pressure on our ability to deliver the vaccines. As well, we know we’re going to have, increasing pressure on our acute care system, so we’ll be prioritizing that going forward … we’re very pleased we have gone from 2,500 to as much as 6,200.”

Children ages five to 11 years of age and individuals who are eligible for third or booster doses are required to book an appointment for their vaccination.

Appointments can be booked by visiting hamilton.ca/GetYourVaccine.

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