Ottawa warns limited appointments available as province expands accelerated second dose booking to residents 70 and older

The city of Ottawa warns COVID-19 vaccine appointments will not be available for all residents looking to shorten the wait time for a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Ontario government has announced that due to an increasing supply of vaccines, the following groups can book an accelerated second dose appointment through the provincial booking system starting Monday at 8 a.m.

  • Individuals turning ages 70 and over in 2021
  • Individuals who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine on or before April 18.

In Ottawa, the city says the expanded eligibility for second doses is great for the province, but it will "continue to squeeze appointment availability" at the city's community clinics.

"That won't be able to be met here because of our supply capacity," emergency services head Anthony Di Monte said during an interview on CTV News at Five on Thursday. "Every bit of vaccine that we have is committed or is about to be committed. If we remove the age eligibility or lower it again without additional supply, then it becomes a challenge for the community because there's an expectation they can book but they won't be able to.'

In a statement Friday evening, the city said there are "currently limited appointments" available at community clinics in June for the shortened interval due to limited vaccine supply.

According to Vaccine Hunters website at 7:30 p.m. Friday, there are appointments available at several Ottawa clinics until July 6. Appointments are available for first and second doses.

More than 150,000 appointments are booked at Ottawa clinics until the end of June. The city is also using doses for pop-up clinics in priority neighbourhoods and providing second doses to high priority healthcare workers.

"Multiple age groups in Ottawa are now competing for the same appointments. Someone 12 and above looking for a first dose against someone 80 and above looking for an earlier second dose appointment, for example," said Di Monte in a memo to council on Wednesday.

The city expected the expanding accelerated second dose bookings to individuals aged 70 and over in Ottawa will add up to 80,000 more individuals looking for appointments.

"That are simply not available."

Di Monte told CTV News at Five that Ottawa has had discussions with the province about securing more doses.

SECOND DOSE OPTIONS

In a statement Friday evening, the city of Ottawa said there are several options available for adults 70 and older to get a second dose.

"There are currently limited appointments in June at community clinics for the shortened interval due to limited vaccine supply," said a statement from the city.

"Residents in this group may instead choose to book their second dose through a local pharmacy as of today."

You can book a second dose appointment at more than 100 pharmacies across Ottawa receiving vaccines directly from the province. Participating locations are available on Ontario.ca.