City of Ottawa expanding COVID-19 booster dose access for educators, priority groups

Access to COVID-19 booster doses is improving this week in Ottawa for a number of priority groups including educators and those aged 60 and above.

Ottawa Public Health is expanding drop-in capacity at vaccination clinics starting Thursday for the following groups:

  • Residents aged 60 and older
  • Education and child-care workers
  • Employees, volunteers and caregivers of residents of long-term care and retirement homes
  • Pregnant individuals

A new pre-registration tool is also available for these groups, notifying those who sign up about drop-in and same-day availability at clinics near their homes.

OPH is also hosting a booster dose clinic for residents aged 60 and older at the Nepean Sportsplex, with appointment availability Thursday through Sunday this week. These slots are not drop-in and must be booked in advanced by calling OPH at 613-691-5505.

The health unit notes that those aged 60 and older are at high risk of complications due to COVID-19. The vast majority of the 35 people currently in hospital with the virus in Ottawa fall into this age group.

OPH also added 5,000 new appointments on Thursday for kids aged five to 11 to get their first or second vaccine doses.

Meanwhile, two upcoming events in Ottawa are focusing on getting booster shots to as many educators and those working with children as possible while school remains online in the weeks ahead.

The first clinic is hosted on Friday by CHEO, the Eastern Ontario pediatric hospital.

Pre-registration is open now to teachers, education and child-care workers, including administration staff at schools, living or working in Ottawa or the Eastern Ontario, Renfrew, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville health units.

Read more:

Ontario hospitals seeing ‘disturbing trend’ of infant COVID-19 admissions

The first clinic, held at CHEO’s main campus on Smyth Road, is set for Friday afternoon, but additional clinics will be added shortly, according to the hospital’s website.

Later in the weekend, Jabapalooza, the pop-up vaccine clinic run by family physicians and volunteers, returns with a focus on educators and parents.

Boosters are open on the Sunday event for any educator, child-care provider or essential worker, as well as for pregnant people and parents aged 18 and older. Partners of the eligible recipients can also get a booster at the pop-up.

The event at Glebe Collegiate is by appointment only, with slots booked via a special designation in the provincial vaccine portal.

As strange as it sounds, registrants should select “Glebe NSW, Australia” — not “City of Ottawa” — when signing up for the clinic in the Glebe neighbourhood. Organizers called the technical workaround a “secret location” that allowed the pop-up event to fit into Ontario’s booking system.

Families are asked to come together, regardless of what time their slots are booked in the system.

Full information for the Jabapalooza pop-up is available on its website.

So far in Ottawa, roughly a third of residents have gotten a booster dose.

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