City of Ottawa to target all adults in high-risk neighbourhoods for vaccinations

With Ottawa's COVID-19 supply set to increase, the city is poised to step up efforts to vaccinate people in the neighbourhoods hardest hit by the pandemic.

Ottawa Public Health’s plan to vaccinate all adults in high-risk communities will use a “targeted approach,” including pop-up clinics and other outreach measures, officials say.

These neighbourhoods will be the first areas of the city where everyone 18 and older will be eligible for shots.

Officials are expected to announce details of the rollout on Monday or Tuesday.

“It is super important to target everyone over the age of 18 in these neighbourhoods, because people living in these neighbourhoods are at higher risk,” said Kelli Tonner, executive director of the South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre.

The neighbourhoods have a high concentration of essential workers, many of whom live in apartments and are at a higher risk of transmission.

“Access is an issue because a lot of these individuals in these neighbourhoods are working in our essential jobs on the front line, and they aren’t able to sit with technologies and look for different appointments across the city,” Tonner said. “Sometimes the messaging has been difficult.”

A notice on Ottawa Public Health’s website says the health unit is implementing “new approaches for pop-up clinics in high-risk communities,” which will include notifying people of clinic and registration options “through a targeted approach.”

The appointments will be primarily pre-booked, though there will likely also be some walk-up appointments.

These neighbourhoods are different from the three priority postal codes identified by the province. The 21 neighbourhoods were identified at the outset of the vaccine rollout as priority areas, and saw the first pop-up clinics for seniors to receive their shots.

“This is going to be incredibly important in vaccinating those younger individuals that need these vaccines to protect themselves, protect their loved ones and our communities in general,” said Reem Al-Amari, 21, who lives in the city’s south end. “I’m incredibly excited about this and I will definitely be booking my shot.”

Canada’s vaccine supply is set to dramatically ramp up next month. Two million doses per week of the Pfizer vaccine alone are scheduled to arrive.

The Ontario government says all adults will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment by the end of the month.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford said by the end of the day, a first vaccine will have been administered to 40 per cent of adults in Ontario. In Ottawa, 37 per cent of those eligible have received at least one dose.

Here is the list of high-risk neighbourhoods where all adults will soon be eligible for vaccines, as identified by Ottawa Public Health:

  • Bayshore-Belltown
  • Britannia Village
  • Carleton Heights - Rideauview
  • Carlington
  • Carson Groves-Carson Meadows
  • Hawthorne Meadows - Sheffield Glen
  • Hunt Club Park
  • Lowertown (Lowertown East)
  • Manor Park
  • Overbrook-McArthur
  • Parkwood Hills - Stewart Farm
  • Riverview 
  • Sandy Hill 
  • Vanier North
  • Vanier South
  • West Centretown
  • Whitehaven - Queensway Terrace North

- with files from Graham Richardson, CTV News Ottawa