New vaccination clinics open Monday, boosted by influx of doses
60,000 new appointment spots available
The City of Ottawa has ramped up its COVID-19 vaccine effort thanks to the influx of tens of thousands of additional doses, which has opened up new community clinics and new appointment slots.
A memo issued to city council Friday states the city received 27,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine Friday, and another 25,000 are being shipped to local pharmacies.
This is the city's first batch out of 15 million doses Moderna recently confirmed it would send to Canada in June. More doses are set to arrive in the coming days and weeks.
The province has also agreed to send Ottawa a "strategic allocation" of 33,500 additional doses, the memo said.
On top of 5,000 extra doses received last week, city staff say Ottawa will get 38,500 extra doses beyond its normal per capita allotment this week.
The new doses will allow Ottawa to open up community clinics at the following locations starting Monday:
- Canadian Tire Centre.
- Canterbury Recreation Centre. (This clinic has previously served select priority populations and offered some second dose appointments).
- Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park.
- Nepean Sportsplex curling rink.
- University of Ottawa Minto Sports Complex.
The memo says these clinics will have the capacity to administer up to 100,000 doses per week.
"We're ready to ramp up and that's what we're doing with these new clinics," said Anthony Di Monte, the head of Ottawa's vaccine distribution task force.
"In the next few weeks, we're going to be seeing Moderna arriving over and above what we're regularly getting with the Pfizer ... We're confident that we'll be seeing this additional arrival on a more regular basis."
Eligibility expands Monday, then again on June 28
The influx of doses comes as the province plans to expand vaccine eligibility on Monday.
At the moment in Ottawa only those 70 and older, as well as those who received a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna on or before April 18, have been eligible for a second dose.
As of June 28, all adults will be eligible to book a second dose.
Di Monte said the strategic allocation boosts Ottawa's vaccine efforts, but it won't be enough to meet voracious short-term demand. He said 155,000 people in Ottawa will become eligible for second doses on Monday alone, but only 60,000 new appointments have been opened up.
"Those [eligible], while they may not all get in this week because we only have 60,000 additional, I think in the coming weeks we'll be able to make great strides and knock away at that group as well," said Di Monte.
Approximately 816,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Ottawa residents, according to Friday's update from Ottawa Public Health, with 75 per cent of adults receiving their first dose.