First COVID-19 vaccine doses for all retirement home residents to be completed Tuesday: memo
The City of Ottawa expects staff will have given first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible retirement home residents by the end of the day Tuesday.
The news came in a memo to city council on Tuesday, attributed to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and Emergency and Protective Services General Manager Anthony Di Monte.
"In all, residents of 82 retirement homes have received first dose offers of vaccines in Ottawa," the memo says. "This milestone has been reached through the efforts of Mobile Vaccination Teams, comprised of staff from the Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Public Health, The Ottawa Hospital, the Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Ottawa Inner City Health, community physicians and the retirement facilities."
The city has been vaccinating retirement home residents since Feb. 7. The effort began with 37 retirement homes identified as "high-risk", using criteria such as having a memory care unit, being co-located with a long-term care facility, or being vulnerable due to other available information, the memo explained.
One home, Valley Stream Retirement Residence, received COVID-19 vaccines in mid-January as it was in the middle of a deadly outbreak of COVID-19 that claimed the lives of 13 residents. The outbreak at Valley Stream ended Feb. 12.
The memo said that while completing the first round of vaccinations in retirement homes is a milestone, the general public must still wait to be vaccinated.
"[I]t will be several months until COVID-19 vaccines are available to the general public. In the meantime, it is essential that we continue to practise public health measures to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community," the memo said.
More information about Ottawa's COVID-19 vaccination plans are expected to be discussed at city council on Wednesday.