Ottawa sees spike in new COVID-19 vaccine appointments after Ontario unveils vaccine passport

Ottawa Public Health says COVID-19 vaccination appointments doubled in Ottawa on the day Ontario unveiled plans for a new COVID-19 vaccination passport.

On Wednesday, the Ontario government announced that as of Sept. 22, only fully vaccinated residents will be able to access non-essential businesses, including restaurants, gyms, concerts and sporting events.

The health unit reports bookings for a COVID-19 vaccination in Ottawa more than doubled over the last 24 hours.

"On average, at the start of the week we had 307 new daily bookings and in the last 24-hour period we have now seen 623 new additional bookings," said Ottawa Public Health in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

"In addition, there were 544 walk-ins (Wednesday)."

As of Wednesday, 79 per cent of residents 12 and older had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 86 per cent of eligible Ottawa residents have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said COVID-19 vaccination policies would help boost vaccination rates.

"It was a noticeable increase," said Dr. Etches about the increase in vaccine appointments after the provincial announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine passport.

Health Minister Christine Elliott reported COVID-19 vaccination appointments more than doubled across Ontario in the 24 hours after the passport program was announced.

The Ministry of Health says there were 3,479 appointments booked on Aug. 31, and 7,125 appointments on Sept. 1.

Starting Sept. 22, you will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access non-essential businesses.

Here is a look at the high-risk settings that will require Ontarians 12 and older to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access.

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout)
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment)
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport
  • Sporting events
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing)