Hamilton residents may book fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday

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Published April 6, 2022 at 5:52 pm

The City of Hamilton has expanded its COVID-19 vaccination program to include fourth doses, following suit with an identical move by the Ontario government.

Presently, individuals who are at least 60 years old, and First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over are eligible for a fourth jab. In a release, the city says it is recommended that one receive their fourth dose on a five-month interval (140 days), because “a longer interval has shown to provide better immunity protection.” However, individuals are eligible to receive at a three-month interval after their first boosted dose.

“Expanding booster eligibility will provide an extra layer of protection against the Omicron and BA.2 variants and, in addition to antivirals, are another tool we are using to live more safely with and manage COVID-19,” the city stated. “We encourage all Hamiltonians to ensure that they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.”

Booking will open on Thursday (April 7) at 8 a.m.; more information about how to cook is available at hamilton.ca/getyourvaccine.

“We anticipate demand will be higher than available capacity for those eligible at the three-month interval,” the city added. “Due to a high volume of eligible individuals, we ask that individuals check back daily for available appointments.”

Appointments can be booked 14 days in advance and appointment dates will be added daily. Vaccine clinics hours and days of operation will be adjusted as needed.

Hamilton Public Health Services’ online vaccine booking system, accessed by visiting hamilton.ca/GetYourVaccine, can accept bookings for eligible residents with an Ontario health card (green photo health card OR red and white) and an email address or cell phone number. Individuals without an Ontario health card, or without an email address or cell phone number can call the Public Health Services COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 905-974-9848, option 7. Translation services are available by phone.

Individuals wishing to receive a first, second or booster dose can access a COVID-19 vaccine on a walk-in basis.

While the province and city have eased COVID-19 safety measures — such as mandatory masking in most public indoor settings — the spread of COVID-19 has continued. Five of the six COVID-19 monitoring indicators on Hamilton’s COVID-19 dashboard are increasing. The lone exception is hospital admissions, which are stable.

“It is important for Hamiltonians to be mindful that COVID-19 is still present in our community and increasing trends in cases and wastewater signal data indicate that transmission is increasing across Ontario and here in Hamilton,” the city said. “Individual public health measures are most effective when layered together amongst other actions that individuals and organizations can take to protect themselves and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Hamiltonians are encouraged to consider their own risk factors and those with who they love or spend time with, their risk tolerance and the setting they are in when it comes to protecting themselves from COVID-19.”

The public health unit continues to recommend the following protective measures that can reduce serious health consequences from COVID-19 infections:

  • Get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with vaccines, including third and fourth doses
  • Wear a mask when indoors and/or when unable to distance
  • Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Speak to your healthcare provider (doctor, nurse practitioner) in advance to see if you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatment and where to access
  • Practise physical distancing
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