In several Hamilton neighbourhoods, second doses of COVID-19 vaccine outpace first jabs


Published September 17, 2021 at 8:42 pm

Positives can be found in Hamilton’s neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

There is also, however, a trend that ties into Ontario’s fourth wave being a pandemic of the unvaccinated, which is a term used by numerous medical professionals and politicians.

Toronto-based research group ICES, which is now updates vaccine uptake by postal code areas monthly instead of weekly, released new data on Friday (Sept. 17). Bigger gains in second-dose coverage than in first jabs appeared across six Hamilton neighbourhoods that the public health unit has geared mobile vaccination clincis toward, with more scheduled over the next week.

In each area, the percentage of the total population who received a second dose within the last month surpassed the percentage comprised of people who got their first jab in the same timespan. The likelihood of an unvaccinated person who contracts the highly contagious Delta variant requiring intensive care, or dying, is far higher than it is in a fully vaccinated person.

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On a positive note, the greatest jump in first-dose coverage over the last month appears to be in the LH8 and L8L postal code areas in the north end of Hamilton. That area represents the population with the lowest income in Hamilton.

The L8H area now has 64.88 per cent first-dose coverage, with 57.19 per cent fully vaccinated. In L8L, the numbers are up to 63.38 and 54.94, which remain the lowest in Hamilton.

Both areas also had a bigger jump for second doses. In L8H, first-dose coverage is 4.28 per cent higher, but second doses are 6.49 higher. In L8L, the movement was 4.38 and 6.84, respectively.

Uptake by postal code area does not reflect the size of each one’s  vaccine-ineligible population of children age 11 and under. The ICES research group is also giving its data to two decimal places instead of one, so the percentage increases are estimated.

Overall, Hamilton has vaccinated 74.8 per cent of its eligible population, and 81.7 per cent have received at least one dose. It is believed that 90 per cent of the eligible population needs to be vaccinated in order to create herd immunity and make COVID-19 endemic, like the flu.

According to ICES, the city now has the fifth-highest COVID-19 positivy rate in Ontario at 4.90 per cent, after being as high as second in the province in recent weeks.

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