The City of Hamilton is now accepting bookings for COVID-19 vaccine appointments based on the race of the applicants.
On Monday, the city’s official Twitter account announced that vaccinations are now available for booking by black and racialized Canadians.
“COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now available for Black and other racialized populations/people of colour ages 18+ who live in postal codes L9C, L8W, L8L, L8N and L9K at the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at FIRSTONTARIO CENTRE, Friday to Sunday this coming week,” the city tweeted.
According to official statistics, Hamilton’s racialized community makes up approximately 19% of the city’s population.
To justify the decision to distribute vaccines based on race, public health officials cite that people of colour are “disproportionately” impacted by COVID-19.
“We know that Black and racialized communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and are therefore a group that we want to get vaccine to earlier in the prioritization framework,” said Hamilton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson.
In response to the announcement, numerous Canadians reacted with outrage online, accusing the city of perpetuating racism.
“Looks like my prophetic satire strikes again. There is definitely nothing racist about vaccinating people as a function of their race. That’s simply ‘progressive’ because it is a noble way to fight systemic racism. Slowly we inch…” tweeted evolutionary psychologist and Concordia University professor Gad Saad.
Similarly, University of Toronto professor and psychologist Dr. Jordan B Peterson flagged the tweet by asking “How could this possibly go wrong?”
Eligible Canadians hoping to book a vaccination appointment will be required to show proof of address. At this point, walk-ins are not being accepted and all eligible candidates are being asked to book their vaccination through the Public Health Services COVID-19 health line at 905-974-9848, ext. 7.