This week, Hamilton seniors over 85 joined health-care workers and shelter clients in line for the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine, two weeks ahead of Ontario’s schedule.
Despite initial hurdles with registration, more than 2,000 residents’ names were on the list by the end of Monday.
Here’s what comes next:
Which seniors should register now?
If you are a senior turning 85 or older this year and have not received care at a Hamilton Health Sciences or St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton hospital or hospital clinic in the last six months, call 905-974-9848, and pick option 7. If you have received hospital care, your name is already in the list and St. Joe’s will contact you directly to book an appointment.
Starting March 15, residents are expected to be able to book themselves through an online system created by the province.
How many people are on the registration list?
As of the end of Monday, there were about 2,170 seniors 85 and older registered for COVID-19 vaccines, according to the city.
What happens after I register?
Patients are added to a randomized “pool” which is used to create call lists, St. Joe’s spokesperson Maria Hayes said in an email. A St. Joe’s agent then phones to book an appointment. Hayes did not provide a time for when registered residents can expect a call.
How many appointments are available?
Currently, 250 appointments are available per day, seven days a week at St Joe’s West 5th clinic, with “limited” appointments at pop-up sites in the city, said Hayes. She added St. Joe’s is booking to capacity each day, based on “available supply.” The city said mobile clinics — expected by Wednesday — would add 200 more appointments per day.
How much notice will I get before my appointment?
Residents can book an appointment up to five to seven days in advance, said Hayes.
What happens if I miss the call to book an appointment?
Your information will stay in the pool to be put into a call list again, said Hayes.
What if I have mobility problems?
Appointment locations will be based on mobility, with “limited” slots at pop-up clinics, Hayes said Tuesday. Residents needing transportation can call DARTS or other accessible transportation providers.
Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator