Hamilton residents 12 and older now eligible for bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine

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Published October 13, 2022 at 2:24 pm

Hamilton residents who are 5 and older can now get the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine. It follows a recent Health Canada approval.
All Halton Region vaccination appointments scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills have been cancelled due to an expected winter storm. INSAUGA PHOTO

Hamilton residents who are 12 and older can now get the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine.

The announcement from the city’s public health department comes after Health Canada approval of the Pfizer vaccine.

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“As evidence shows that vaccine protection decreases over time, to get stronger protection against COVID-19, Hamilton Public Health Services and its Hamilton Healthcare Partners are recommending all Hamiltonians 12 years of age and older to stay up to date with vaccination and book an appointment for a bivalent COVID-19 booster,” an official media release from the city reads.

To be eligible for the vaccine, residents must have completed their primary vaccine series at least six months ago and not been infected with COVID-19 over the last three months.

The bivalent booster is recommended by public health, regardless of how many booster doses they have received previously.

“With immunity from a previous infection and vaccine protection decreasing over time, we continue to encourage all Hamiltonians to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination in preparation for the fast-approaching influenza and respiratory illness season,” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton medical officer.

“As we escape cooler temperatures and spend more time together indoors this fall, Hamiltonians 12 to 17 years of age can now book an appointment for a bivalent COVID-19 booster to strengthen their ability to fight off COVID-19 infection and reduce the risk against severe COVID-19 outcomes like hospitalization, ICU admission and death.”

Appointments can be booked on Hamilton’s booking tool 14 days in advance at hamilton.ca/GetYourVaccine, with new appointment dates added daily.

The city is also strongly encouraging residents to check with local pharmacies offering bivalent COVID-19 booster doses, as neighbourhood pharmacists are anticipated to administer nearly 75 per cent of all COVID-19 vaccines locally this upcoming respiratory illness season.

Flu shots will also be available starting Nov. 1, 2022.

As of Oct. 11, 2022, 83.9 per cent of Hamiltonians have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 80.7 per cent have completed their primary series by receiving a second dose. Nearly half (49.5 per cent) of Hamiltonians have received the third dose, and 16.5 per cent have received the fourth dose.

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