COVID-19: Lack of Immunizers Slowing Launch of Ottawa’s Booster Injection, Says Etches – Ottawa | The Canadian News

The Ottawa Department of Public Health is asking local healthcare workers to lend a hand to carry needles to arms, as demand for COVID-19 booster shots dwarfs capacity in the city.

Ottawa health medical officer Dr. Vera Etches told reporters Thursday that the city is stepping up its mass vaccination campaign once again in an attempt to get as much protection as possible from the third dose in the capital of the nation as the Omicron COVID variant spreads through the city.

The city has doubled its total vaccination capacity this week compared to the previous one, Etches said, and the city’s emergency operations center revved up again to handle the demand for reinforcements.

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OPH is establishing a new vaccination site at the EY Center to administer 2,700 doses of vaccines per day and on Thursday posted 10,600 new appointments for boosters in the city, with spaces open from Saturday.

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OPH has been posting thousands of new appointments a day since Monday, when the threshold was lowered to allow anyone age 50 and older who has withdrawn six months from their second dose to reserve a booster shot.

Many hopeful residents have been shut out by laggard websites, and slot machines have sold out too quickly to take advantage of them. Etches said that even if it is slow, all eligible residents will be able to receive a booster in due course.

Demand will be even higher starting Monday, when 750,000 people in Ottawa over the age of 18 who received a second dose at least three months ago will be eligible for a booster shot.


Click to play video: 'COVID Vaccine Boosters Available for Ages 18+ in Ontario Starting Monday'



COVID Vaccine Boosters Available to Ages 18 and Over in Ontario Starting Monday


COVID Vaccine Boosters Available to Ages 18 and Over in Ontario Starting Monday

What limits OPH’s ability to open more spaces is not the availability of doses, but the people to administer the injections, Etches said.

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“There is no challenge with the supply of vaccines for the Ottawa clinics. The challenge is the number of immunizers ”.

The health unit has been working with hospital partners, paramedics, family doctors, pharmacies and even medical students to get as many people as possible to the staff clinics.

OPH employees across the organization are abandoning their usual workload and rushing to the front line of the vaccination campaign once again, diminishing regular health unit services such as support for the mental health and substance use.

“It’s not ideal, but that’s how critical this work is right now,” Etches said.

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Exhausted healthcare workers fear Omicron surges in Canadian hospitals

Etches said it was “bittersweet” to speak about the looming threat from Omicron in Ottawa a day after the first anniversary of the city’s first COVID-19 injection, but reiterated that vaccination progress was made locally in the past 366 days has been a “colossal feat”.

“This is a huge company. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. “


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COVID-19: Ottawa Mayor Advises Holding Holiday Gatherings For Immediate Family Amid Omicron Spread

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