Ottawa was expected to complete first dose COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible residents in high-risk retirement homes by end of day Wednesday, February 10, 2021.
COVID vaccines offered to eligible residents in high-risk retirement homes
There are 84 designated retirement homes in Ottawa. Of these, 37 were identified as being higher risk by Ottawa Public Health based on criteria, including census information, the province’s ethical framework and other provincial guidance. As advised on January 18, one of these 37 retirements homes was offered first dose vaccinations as second dose vaccinations in long-term care homes (LTCHs) were completing. This was due both to the availability of vaccine supply and health concerns at that facility. First dose vaccinations in the remaining 36 high-risk retirement homes began on February 7, after the arrival of Moderna vaccines.
Deployment of vaccines
It will have taken just four days to complete first doses in 36 retirement homes. This achievement speaks both to the enhanced efficiency from experience in the LTCHs and, importantly, increased collaboration as part of our plan with additional local health care partners. For example, Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) physicians, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians teamed up with Ottawa Public Health to administer vaccines, as did other community physicians, among others.
Of the vaccines administered at the 37 retirement homes, 18 were administered by Ottawa Paramedics, 10 by community physicians, four by QCH, three by medical staff working at the homes, one by The Ottawa Hospital and one by Ottawa Public Health in addition to providing overall support to all mobile immunization teams. This represents a truly one city, one Ottawa approach to vaccination. The city will continue to add to immunizing team members as the vaccine supply increases.
Second dose vaccinations for LTCH workers and essential caregivers and higher risk health care workers vaccinated at The Ottawa Hospital clinic are ongoing. The timeline for completion of first dose vaccinations in the remaining 47 retirement homes is dependent on vaccine supply. Council will continue to be kept apprised of vaccination efforts. For regularly updated vaccination statistics, please consult the Ottawa Public Health Dashboard.
The completion of first dose vaccinations in high-risk retirement homes is significant and another milestone. It will, however, be several months until COVID-19 vaccines are available to the general public. In the meantime, it is essential that we continue to practice public health measures to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community. Further guidance is expected from the province to be able to communicate about sequencing of vaccine access for the populations identified Phase 1 under the provincial framework.