Hamilton launches a 'comprehensive program' to encourage people to roll up their sleeves

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Hamilton is on a drive to get vaccination rates up as the city lags behind the numbers set for Step 3 of the province's roadmap.

At a news conference on Monday, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton's medical officer of health, said the city is trying to reach people who haven't been vaccinated and encourage them to get the shot.

"Consider this Hamilton's call to arms," Richardson said.

"There are many community members who have yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine.

"Of course we've also known and are concerned about the fact that vaccine protection isn't evenly distributed across the community," she said.

As of July 26, 715,285 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered locally. An estimated 76.6 per cent of Hamiltonians 18 and over have received their first dose, while an estimated 65.8 per cent of youth 12 to 17 have received at least one dose. In addition, 64.4 per cent of adults and 43.2 per cent of youth have received second doses to date.

The province has made it clear that Step 3 of the roadmap will remain in place for at least 21 days, and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. As well, 75 per cent must have received their second dose and no public health unit should have less than 70 per cent of their population fully vaccinated.

"As you can see with our numbers, we do have a bit of a way to go yet in getting those vaccination rates up," Richardson said.

"We definitely want to see those continue to climb so that you're well protected, to protect those you love and so you can get back to things you love."