The head of Ottawa’s local vaccination task force says he expects to see the next group of adults in the city booking appointments by the first week of April.
Emergency and Protective Services General Manager Anthony Di Monte told CTV News at Noon he expects anyone 80 and older in Ottawa who wants a vaccine will have one in the next three weeks.
“When we open our four sites, we sense that probably April 7, some 40,000 people in this age group could be vaccinated by then,” Di Monte said. “As long as we get the vaccine that they’ve confirmed we’re getting and the system works and there’s no glitches and everybody gets to register, we’ll get through this age group by then and we’ll be able to move onto others.”
This would only be the first dose. The second dose of the vaccine is set to be delivered up to four months after the first, based on federal guidelines.
The vaccine clinic at the Nepean Sportsplex is open now. The city will open its clinic at the Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA on Wednesday, March 17. Clinics at the Eva James Memorial Centre and Ottawa City Hall will be up and running by March 23.
The Ontario portal for residents born in or before 1941 launched Monday morning. More than 60,000 appointments were booked provincewide in the first hours of the first day.
The province has said it expects to roll out vaccines to residents 75 and older by April 15 and to residents 70 and older by May 1.
There are an estimated 75,000 people in Ottawa between the ages of 70 and 79.
Ottawa has been ahead of the province in terms of rollout. The city began vaccinating seniors 80 and older in certain neighbourhoods in early March and later expanded to anyone 90 and older anywhere in Ottawa days before the provincial system launched.
Di Monte stressed that despite some long waits and computer glitches on the first day of booking, vaccine appointments aren’t going anywhere.
“Even if you don’t get on this afternoon and you only get on tomorrow, we have the vaccines, the four sites will be open, up and running, we have the capacity. So if you get on and you get an appointment, whether it’s today, tomorrow, the next day, at that appointment, when you arrive, there will be a vaccine waiting for you. You will get your dose of vaccine. Don’t let these first-day glitches that the province is having deter you from getting your vaccine.”
Di Monte told CTV News at Six that more than 4,000 people in Ottawa were able to book appointments on Monday using the province’s booking system.
A previous version of this article said Ottawa could be “finished” vaccinating residents by April 7, but that is inaccurate. What is possible is that all residents 80 and older could potentially have their first dose of the vaccine by then. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, presently the only ones received in Ottawa to date, required two shots, delivered between three weeks and four months apart, before one is considered fully vaccinated. The article and headline have been changed to provide this clarification.