Ottawa pharmacist says there’s little demand for a fourth COVID-19 shot

As more people become eligible for a fourth COVID-19 shot, one Ottawa pharmacy owner says there has not been much demand for the vaccine, despite it being readily available.

“I’ve been a little bit disappointed, hoping to see more people coming in,” said Lubna Fawaz, owner of Promed Pharmacy.

Fawaz says fewer than 20 people have come in for the dose since residents 60 and older became eligible last Thursday.

According to Ottawa Public Health, more than 12,000 fourth doses were administered last week.

“Our wait is no time, so we always welcome walk-ins,” said Fawaz. “We used to be going crazy with phone calls, but not now.”

Experts say fourth doses will help blunt the sixth wave, which is expected to peak in May.

“Fourth doses accepted by enough people will blunt transmission into the community, which is what we want to curtail the peak and the extent of the sixth wave,” said Dr. Raywat Deonandan, epidemiologist and University of Ottawa associate professor.

As the province braces for the sixth wave to peak, a new report from Public Health Ontario suggests the province’s recent rise in hospitalizations is linked to the lifting of the mask mandate. The agency adding test positivity rates and confirmed cases are higher than during the pandemic to date.

“We are looking at waste water signals that are as high, if not higher, than the Omicron peak,” said Dr. Deonandan. “It’s suggesting that there’s a lot more virus circulating now than at any other time during the pandemic.”

Fawaz says she’s calling and emailing those who took their third shot to see if they’re interested in a fourth dose.

Ottawa Public Health data shows that 62 per cent of residents aged 12 and older have received their third shot.

Ottawa residents aged 60 and older are eligible to book a fourth dose appointment. Visit the COVID-19 vaccination portalby calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Center at 1-833-943-3900 or check local pharmacy to find locations that provide the booster dose.

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