Vaccination of Ottawa's long-term care home residents starts today
Staff at Ottawa's Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre to administer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday
Residents of Ottawa's Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre are set to become the first long-term care residents in eastern Ontario to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Perley Rideau staff will administer the vaccine to residents at the Russell Road facility on Tuesday, according to a note sent to families Monday afternoon.
With 450 beds, the home is the largest of its kind in the region. It currently has no cases of COVID-19.
Immunization of long-term care home workers is already underway. At the Perley Rideau alone, more than 810 staff and essential caregivers have already registered to receive the vaccine.
Some were among the first in Ontario to be immunized when they received doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at The Ottawa Hospital's vaccination clinic on Dec. 15, and are due to receive their second doses this week.
8,400 workers already vaccinated
Across the city, more than 8,400 health-care and nursing home workers, as well as those deemed essential caregivers, have received the vaccine over the past few weeks.
"The Ottawa Hospital vaccination clinic will operate seven days per week, with a goal of immunizing 1,500 to 1,800 individuals daily with first or second doses," the hospital said Monday in a statement to CBC.
Currently in Ottawa, 14 nursing homes are in outbreak. At 10 of those facilities, just one or two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, but no residents have been infected. At the remaining four homes, the outbreak involves both staff and residents, according to Ottawa Public Health.
Since Jan. 1, there have been new outbreaks at Granite Ridge, Carlingview Manor, Laurier Manor and Royal Ottawa Place.
Across Ontario, 219 long-term care homes, or more than one-third of the province's 626 facilities, are now in COVID-19 outbreak. To date, 2,781 nursing home residents and eight staff members have died.
As more workers and residents are vaccinated, safety protocols including mandatory masks and restrictions on visits will continue, as will regular testing of staff.
Slow rollout under fire
On Monday, opposition parties criticized the Ford government for delays in getting long-term care residents vaccinated.
"We could have been doing the Perley last week, or we could have been doing the Glebe Centre or any of the homes in Ottawa last week, which is what we should have been doing," said John Fraser, Liberal MPP for Ottawa South.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the legislature needs to work on a more robust rollout plan.
Premier Doug Ford admitted Monday there have been "bumps in the road," but said he expects the program to begin making a "significant difference" within the next few weeks.