A large-scale vaccination clinic that was scheduled to open early this month in East Hamilton has been delayed due to a shortage in the city’s supply of vaccines.
During Wednesday’s (March 31) City Council meeting, Hamilton Public Health Services’ Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, broke the news that the clinic planned for Rosedale Arena will be delayed in opening.
“We’ve had to make the decision to postpone that opening, at this point, while we talk more about vaccine supply,” Richardson told councillors.
“So, an opening date at this point is not known.”
According to Richardson, the City of Hamilton received 24,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday (March 30) but those are expected to be all used up by the city’s existing clinics by early next week.
“We are averaging just over 3,000 doses on average per day,” she told councillors. “So, you can see that will quickly get used up over the course of the week.”
Delivery of Moderna that was expected on March 22 has been delayed and it remains unclear as to when those will arrive, Richardson explained.
She also explained that while it seems that other regions in Ontario are moving at a faster rate in terms of getting the vaccine out, she said that each community is prioritizing their distribution based on its own unique needs.
Richardson said that areas where rates of infection are much higher and the population is denser have also received larger shipments of vaccines as it’s deemed prudent to slow the spread in those regions.
“It’s all very complex,” Richardson said, noting that even in Hamilton, the priorities have shifted throughout the rollout as problems arose in areas like the city’s shelter system which was seeing higher rates of infection.
As it stands, 15.2 per cent of people over the age of 16 who are currently eligible for the vaccine in Hamilton have been given at least one dose. According to data on the City’s website that was updated late Wednesday, 97,259 vaccines have been administered here.
Richardson told council that the decision to delay the opening of the Rosedale clinic has “been very disappointing for us,” but said when the vaccine supply becomes more abundant, Hamilton’s health-care partners are prepared to get the clinic up and running very quickly.