May 4th, 2021

Horwath, Nann call on Ford to make Hamilton postal codes hotspots and provide vaccines now

HAMILTON – Hamilton Public Health added three high-risk postal codes to the priority list nearly a month ago, but the province is still denying people living in those postal codes the vaccine doses they need, and has not added the postal codes to the provincial booking system. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who represents Hamilton Centre, and Hamilton City Councillor, Nrinder Nann (Ward 3) are calling for the province to change that immediately.

“In our community, frontline heroes and folks facing a high risk of getting sick from COVID-19 haven’t been able to book a vaccine,” said Horwath. “This brutal, deadly virus is running rampant in our neighbourhoods, and the families there are being left behind, and left at risk.

“Hamilton Public Health has done the critical work of identifying COVID-19 hotspots in Hamilton, and they’re doing incredible work to protect people living in those communities — but they’re being hamstrung by the province. We’re calling on the Ford government to stop denying Hamilton’s hotspots the supports and help they need.”

The province is sending additional vaccine doses to hotspot postal codes, and people 18 and over can now book their shot online through the provincial portal if they live in those postal codes. But L8N, L8L and L9K — designated hotspots by Hamilton Public Health — continue to be excluded.

Nann said community members had no choice but to use the public health hotline — which was overwhelmed with calls on Monday.

“For the province to exclude these postal codes is inequitable and unfair,” said Nann. “People who live in my ward spent hours on the phone yesterday, desperately trying to book a shot to protect themselves and their loved ones. They’re trying to do the right thing — but the province has thrown extra roadblocks in front of them.

“The provincial government must stop ignoring the COVID-19 crisis in Hamilton, add these postal codes to the hotspot list and remove unnecessary barriers to allow people to get their life-protecting appointment urgently.”