All adults in Hamilton can book vaccination appointments starting Tuesday

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Hamiltonians aged 18 years and older in 2021 will be eligible to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday, with "family-friendly" clinics for even younger residents in June. 

The city says Ontario's decision to drop the age range ahead of schedule means all adults in Hamilton will be eligible to book their shots. 

The clinics are by-appointment only and no walk-ins are permitted. 

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, the city's medical officer of health, said those turning 18 in 2021 must ensure their appointments are at a clinic that administers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. She said this will be noted in the system. 

How to book

People can book an appointment by accessing the provincial online booking portal or calling the provincial hotline at 1-888-999-6488. Eligibility will expand as of 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, a week earlier than expected.

Those without access to the internet or a computer, as well as people without a valid Ontario photo health card, can call Hamilton's public health COVID-19 hotline at 905-974-9848, option 7, to book an appointment.

The city says that due to call volumes expected, they're encouraging everyone to self-register online if they're able to do so as it's "the quickest process to get an appointment."

Richardson said there are still appointments available in May and more will be opened up in June. 

"The actual appointment is still going to likely take a couple of weeks or more."

When asked about vulnerable residents struggling to access a vaccine and how they might be impacted, Richardson said pharmacy clinics in hot spots and other clinics, such as at Restoration House, have helped increase access.

She also pointed to primary-care providers as an "important" route. 

Family-friendly clinics

Richardson said public health plans to open up eligibility for people ages 12 to 17 during the week of May 31, and is working with school boards to vaccinate people in those age groups. 

She said family-friendly clinics will run the weeks of June 14 and 21, as well as for second doses during the weeks of Aug. 9 and 16. 

The clinics will vaccinate youth as well as parents who haven't received shots yet. 

"You'll hear more from us about that over the coming weeks," she said. 

To date, 246,822 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Hamilton.