Hamilton Public Health apologizes for 'distress' caused by unreliable COVID vaccine hotline

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Hamilton Public Health apologized Monday (Mar. 1) as frustrated residents attempt to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“[We understand] that there has been frustration and dissatisfaction with the hotline over the weekend and today from members of our community. Public Health apologizes for the distress this has been causing.”

The apology was part of an official statement by the City.

Those 85-year-old and older have been instructed to book their appointments via a COVID-19 hotline. However, many phone calls were met with busy signals and continuous ringing.

The province is reportedly working on providing public health units with a booking tool to launch on March 15. Until then, Public Health says the City of Hamilton’s IT team continues to work with the telecom service provider to increase capacity to handle a higher volume of calls.

It appears many of the phone calls being placed are from those not eligible to be vaccinated, prompting Public Health to remind residents that only those who are 85-years and older should be calling to register for a vaccine at this time.

Meanwhile, once the province’s booking tool is online, the following age groups will become eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination:

  • 80-years or older (3rd week of March)
  • 75-years and older (April 15)
  • 70-years and older (May 1)
  • 65-years and older (June 1)
  • 60-years and older (July 1)

Information regarding registration, booking, and sequencing will be available on the COVID-19 vaccines section of the City's website at www.hamilton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

As of 9 a.m. Monday, there are a total of 10,511 cases, an increase of 54 positive cases from yesterday, and 283 total deaths from COVID-19 in Hamilton.

They are also reporting that of the 10,511 cases, 9,620 or 92% are resolved, resulting in 449 active cases.

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