Ottawa adds new COVID-19 vaccine appointments ahead of 5K-dose shipment

An impending shipment of COVID-19 vaccines has allowed Ottawa to open up additional appointments in the provincial system on Thursday.

The city said in a release that it will receive nearly 5,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from the province on Friday.

New appointments are now available in the system, open to anyone aged 12 and older in need of a first dose and anyone aged 70 and older or who received a first shot before April 18 looking for a second dose.

The extra appointments will be available between Saturday and Monday at the Infinity Convention Centre.

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Residents can book the appointments online or call the provincial booking line at 1-833-943-3900.

The city also announced Thursday it will provide first-dose vaccines to residents aged 12 and older from any high-priority neighbourhoods at a series of pop-up clinics in the weeks ahead.

Also eligible are staff, students and families of students that attend schools in the priority neighbourhoods.

The upcoming clinics will run as follows:

  • Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13 – 9 am to 7 pm
    • Canada Museum of Science and Technology – 1867 St. Laurent Blvd.
    • Hillcrest High School – 1900 Dauphin Rd.
  • Monday, June 14 and Tuesday, June 15 – 11 am to 9 pm
    • AMA Centre – 1216 Hunt Club Rd.
  • Wednesday, June 16 to Friday, June 18 – 11 am to 9 pm
    • St. Joseph’s Adult High School – 330 Lajoie St.
  • Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20 – 9 am to 7 pm
    • Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre – 102 Greenview Ave.

Appointments can be made during clinic hours only and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Residents are asked to bring one piece of identification and a proof of address with them to their appointments. Those unsure of whether they are eligible for the pop-up clinics can check on the OPH website.

Mayor Jim Watson has recently pressured the province for additional doses to meet demand in Ottawa.

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He wrote a letter to Premier Doug Ford on Monday requesting an additional 40,000 doses for the city, citing the need for more supply as eligibility for booking second doses is expanded.

It was not immediately clear whether the extra 5,000 doses were being sent in response to Watson’s letter.

The city’s vaccine task force is also countering a report in the Toronto Sun on Thursday suggesting that Ottawa Public Health, in addition to the Toronto and Peel health units, is sitting on “large surpluses” of unused COVID-19 doses at the end of most days.

“In the case of Ottawa this reporting lacks critical operational detail,” task force head Anthony Di Monte and Dr. Vera Etches, medical officer of health, wrote in a joint memo to council.

Ottawa has maintained a pace of administering 10,000 to 12,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine per day and is constrained in those efforts only by the available supply from the province, they wrote.

At any given time, OPH does maintain a supply of 20,000 doses as a “48-hour buffer,” which the memo said has been a “best practice” elsewhere in the province. Doing so ensures that production and supply hiccups won’t disrupt the next two days of booked appointments.

All “buffer” doses are allocated within the following 48 hours, Etches and Di Monte clarified.

Ontario, meanwhile, announced Thursday it will further accelerate second-dose rebooking to those aged 50 and older or anyone with high-risk health conditions who received a first shot on May 9 or earlier.

It also said it would prioritize its supply of second doses for regions hard hit by the Delta variant, first identified in India. Ottawa is not included among the seven hot spot regions listed.

The Ontario government released new modelling on Thursday suggesting that targeting hot spots of the more transmissible Delta variant with additional vaccines could be key to preventing a fourth wave of COVID-19 in the province.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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