New shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Ottawa; province unveils mass vaccination plan

Francesca Paceri, a registered pharmacist technician carefully fills the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at a vaccine clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

There is now a clearer picture as to who will be vaccinated next as the Ontario government unveils new details in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.

In Phase 2, expected to start in April, the province says it will be able to vaccinate up to 8.5 million people.

Those eligible for the shot include:

  • People over the age of 80 with the age eligibility marker decreasing by 5 years throughout phase 2
  • Those living and working in high-risk congregate settings
  • Essential workers (including first responders, teachers and members of the food and construction industries)
  • People with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers
  • Other populations and communities “facing barriers related to the determinants of health” who are at a greater COVID-19 risk, including racialized communities.

In terms of who else qualifies as an essential worker, officials say work still needs to be done to sub-prioritize the category. 

Ontario health officials announcing on Wednesday that 144,784 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered across the province as of Tuesday night. 

That includes:

  • More than 45,000 healthcare workers in long-term care and retirement homes
  • More than 77,000 healthcare workers
  • More than 13,000 long-term care and retirement homes residents. 

An additional 20,000 long-term care and retirement home staff, residents and essential caregivers have received the Moderna vaccine. 

Ontario had receied 196,025 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Jan. 7, according to Health Canada. That includes 143,325 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 52,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Long-term care home residents and essential healthcare workers had been the first to receive doses across the province. The province has said its goal is to have all long-term care home residents across Ontario vaccinated by Feb. 15

In addition to mass vaccination sites, in the coming months there will also be on-site clinics that will include vaccines being administered at primary care offices, pharmacies and public health clinics.

In Ottawa, 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.

Adults over the age of 80 will be the priority. Adults between 16-60 are expected to receive vaccines in June and July. 

There will also be mobile sites going directly to urban Indigenous populations and other communities at greater risk, like Black and racialized communities. 

Phase 3 for the general population could begin as early as August.

As of Wednesday, Ottawa councillor Mathieu Fleury says all residents in the four city-owned long-term care homes have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The @ottawacity completes the first round of vaccination for residents in City owned LTC, today.

The picture is from Centre d'accueil Champlain in Vanier - 135 residents

��to @ottawahealth, @OttawaHospital & LTC team.

Mme Morin (resident)
Mme Ngia Ibingo (nurse)
Mr. Beya (PSW) pic.twitter.com/z0r0BDZWbs

— Mathieu Fleury (@MathieuFleury) January 13, 2021

It comes as the city received 5,850 new doses on Wednesday, which the Ottawa Hospital says will be given to Ottawa Public Health to continue vaccinating residents in long-term care homes. “The remainder will be used to provide second doses to those who need them,” it says in a statement.   

Ottawa has received 22,425 doses of COVID-19 to date and had administered 16,575 doses as of Tuesday.