OTTAWA — More than two-thirds of Ottawa residents could be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Canada Day, officials said on Monday, as preparations ramp up for the largest inoculation campaign in the city’s history.
A memo from emergency services head Anthony Di Monte and medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says 680,000 Ottawa residents could be immunized by the beginning of July.
The seven-page memo lays out new details on the city’s vaccine distribution plan for the coming months, including four community clinics that will have the capacity to vaccinate several thousand people per day.
By the end of Phase 1 of the rollout, at the end of March, the city expects to receive 160,000 doses, That’s enough to vaccinate 80,000 people. Those are being given to priority groups, such as health care workers in hospitals and long-term care homes.
After that, in the second phase of vaccine rollout, the city expects to receive 1.2 million doses of vaccine, enough to vaccinate 600,000 people.
“This means that 680,000 Ottawa residents, who are eligible, could be immunized by the beginning of July,” the memo said.
The memo calls this an “optimistic projection,” saying that Ottawa could receive fewer vaccines than the per capita numbers because other areas of the provinces have been harder-hit by the virus. The numbers are based on current provincial estimates and vaccine supply availability, “two variables that are highly susceptible to change.”
The Ottawa Hospital has received more than 12,000 vaccine doses as of Dec. 31. In an email to CTV News a spokesperson for the hospital said more than 8,400 people have been immunized already and the second doses of the vaccine will be administered starting this week.
The city is planning four mass vaccination clinics for Phase 2 at the following locations:
Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way
Eva James Memorial Centre, 65 Stonehaven Dr.
Orléans Client Service Centre, 255 Centrum Blvd.
Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave.
The four clinics will each have the capacity to administer 1,200 vaccines a day, amounting to a total capacity of more than 134,400 vaccines per month for all four combined.
The clinics will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The city says it will also be prepared to open three more clinics, the locations of which haven’t yet been determined. Those sites would require 150 new staff to operate; the city is considering redeploying existing staff and recruiting new ones.
The city says it’s ready to launch the clinics as soon as mid-January, although the province has said they won’t be required until Phase 2 of the rollout.
Along with the community clinics in Phase 2, the city is planning to use expanded hospital clinics, mobile vaccination teams and pharmacies to distribute vaccines.
The new details from the city come as the province receives criticism for the pace of its vaccine rollout, the slowest in the province per capita. About 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario still sitting in freezers.
The city’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force was established in mid-November and has met weekly since then, the memo says.
The provincial government receives vaccines from the federal government and distributes them to jurisdictions across Ontario.