Public health officials push for 90 per cent vaccination

In a push to get Ontario to 90 per cent of residents fully vaccinated, more pop-up clinics are scheduled to take place in Ottawa as officials zone in on the 18 to 39 age group.

On Saturday, Ottawa’s baseball stadium will be turned into a COVID-19 vaccination pop-up clinic. The Escapade music festival has partnered with Ottawa Public Health to run the clinic.

“We got DJs playing music prizes trying to give it an Escapade feel,” said music festival director Ali Shafaee.

He added the festival, taking place in September, needs take extra steps to keep people safe. It is making vaccinations mandatory for all festival-goers.

“It’s important for us to be able to run the festival in a certain capacity but at the same time staying with our mandate of being a safe festival,” he said. “We decided to offer patrons to come as long as they receive two doses of the vaccine ahead of the festival day.”

 The pop-up clinic takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the baseball stadium on Coventry Road. Ottawa Public Health says about 700 appointments are available with the option to book ahead of time or drop in.

As of Wednesday, 66 per cent of residents ages 12 and over are fully vaccinated.... 83% have one dose. But those who are 18 to 39, have the lowest levels of vaccination.   

Pop-up clinics at Hudson’s Bay downtown, the Science and Technology Museum and Escapade are all designed to reach as many young people as possible.

“Will it be enough? I think so. Based on what we’re seeing for the transmissibility particularly of newer variants right now I think 90 per cent is a very reasonable and attainable goal,” said infectious disease physician Dr. Dale Kalina. “We have surveys that suggest 88 per cent of Ontarians are interested in getting vaccinated.” 

For Shafaee, the goal is to provide access to vaccines so we can safely get closer to what life was like before the pandemic.

“We encourage everyone to come out, whether you’re a ticket holder or not,” he said.

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