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COVID-19 vaccine online booking system has improved, city of Ottawa officials say – CTV Edmonton



City of Ottawa officials say they’re seeing improvements in the provincial online booking system for COVID-19 vaccinations after many users experienced problems this week.

Several residents told CTV News Ottawa they tried to book their first and second appointments this week when Ontario expanded eligibility to people aged 75 and older, but were unable to progress through the online form because there was no way to book a second appointment.

“Daily discussions with the province are ongoing to identify and address issues as quickly as possible so we can continue with our successful rollout of vaccinations,” said Anthony Di Monte, Ottawa’s general manager of emergency and protective services.

Over 41,830 Ottawa residents over the age of 75 have booked an appointment through Ontario’s online booking system since its launch on March 15.

Di Monte said Wednesday there have been improvements with the booking portal. More than 4,000 people booked a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in Ottawa over the past 12 hours (as of 2 p.m. Wednesday).

“We have seen some change in the last 12 to 14 hours. There was some changes done by the province overnight,” said Di Monte.

“The booking system has improved and so people are now able to book.”

The city is operating four mass vaccination clinics, with each clinic operating two shifts a day.

“Adding additional capability will continue if we receive more vaccine,” said Di Monte.

“We know how important is it to protect our most vulnerable and getting our lives back to some semblance of normal, and we’re committed to making this happen.”

As of Wednesday, the city has administered 106,508 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. A one-day record 5,588 doses were administered on Tuesday in Ottawa.


Mayor Jim Watson has written a letter to Ontario’s Ministry of Health, asking that Ottawa be “urgently prioritized” in the pharmacy vaccine rollout.

Kingston is the only city in eastern Ontario approved to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents over the age of 60. Pharmacies in Toronto and Windsor-Essex County are also administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The reality is that we looked at the situation, we understand the hotspot being Toronto it would make some sense to have pharmacies provide the vaccination there, but they also sent it to Kingston, and Kingston as you know has got fewer hotspots and fewer counts of COVID, even on a per capita basis than the city of Ottawa,” said Watson.

“We need more distribution points, because as we start to go down the age scale there’s going to be more and more people signing up for vaccinations. So if we can disseminate those people not just to the big, large centres we have operational now, but to pharmacists or to their family physicians, that’s going to take a lot of pressure off the large scale operations we have open now.”

Watson says Ottawa is the second largest city in Ontario and has geographic challenges that could be addressed with pharmacies administering the vaccines.

The mayor adds he’s heard “rumblings” three pharmacies in Ottawa will administer the COVID-19 vaccine, but nothing has been announced.


A data error with Ontario’s online booking system resulted in 3,100 vaccination appointments being double-booked for March 23, 24 and 25.

Di Monte says Ontario health officials were unable to reach more than 1,400 residents to reschedule their appointments, and they showed up at vaccination clinics this week to receive the vaccine.

Two temporary clinics were opened in Ottawa to accommodate the extra appointments booked in Ottawa this week.

“Every resident that showed up for an appointment yesterday received a vaccine,” said Di Monte.

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Man assaulted nurse over vaccinating his wife: Quebec cops – Toronto Sun



The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face, police said.

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Sherbrooke police have turned to the public to help track down a man who assaulted a nurse Monday at a local pharmacy.

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Police say a man showed up at the office of a nurse assigned to give vaccinations at a pharmacy on 12th Ave. N.

“He was angry and aggressive,” said police spokesperson Martin Carrier.

The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face and leaving, police said, adding that the nurse was taken to hospital to treat “serious” injuries to her face.

The man being sought is 30 to 45 years old, of medium build and has a dark complexion. He has short dark hair, dark eyes and “big eyebrows.”

The man spoke French and was wearing a dark sweater and jeans. He wore earrings and had a hand tattooed with what resembled the image of a cross.

Police are urging anyone with any information on the case to call them at 1-800-771-1800.

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B.C. reports 759 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, 1 death in Island Health – CHEK



British Columbia health officials on Wednesday reported 759 new COVID-19 cases — including 79 in Island Health — and 10 new deaths since their last update on Sept. 21.

One of the deaths was in Island Health, the province says.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 180,937 while the death toll climbs to 1,910.

There are currently 5,458 active cases in the province, 324 people in hospital — 157 of whom are in intensive care. The provincial government says there are 636 active cases in the Island Health region.

Of the new cases identified, 79 were in Island Health, 233 were in Interior Health, 214 were in Fraser Health, 129 were in Northern Health, 101 were in Vancouver Coastal Health and three were people who normally reside outside of the country.

A total of 173,215 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,739,828 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.

Today’s data was released as a statement to the media.

Island Health

According to the latest update on Island Health’s dashboard shows that there are 563 active cases — 44 in North Island, 180 in Central Island, and 339 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Thirty-five people in the region are currently in hospital with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 188 recoveries, 1,358 new tests for COVID-19 performed, and 2,370 doses of vaccine administered in the region. Of those doses, 37 were AstraZeneca, 1,409 were Moderna and 924 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,289,871 vaccine doses — 619,306 of those are second doses — have now been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,465 doses of AstraZeneca, 345,767 doses of Moderna and 910,639 doses of Pfizer.

Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 8,020 cases reported, 59 deaths, 355 total hospitalizations, and 7,254 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Cases and deaths continue to climb this month

With Wednesday’s announcement of 79 new cases and yet another death in Island Health, the region has now recorded 11 deaths and seen a 22 per cent increase in new cases since the beginning of September.

Since Sept. 1, total hospitalizations on the Island have risen 23 per cent while the total number of recoveries has increased by 22 per cent.

When it comes to active cases, the data isn’t as clear due to major discrepancies between the two main reporting agencies, Island Health and the BCCDC.

Island Health’s data shows that active cases in the region have increased by 31 per cent since the beginning of the month, while the BCCDC’s data shows that active cases have only increased by 18 per cent during the same period.

However, Island Health is the only agency to provide daily updates on active cases with a breakdown by region and based on their latest data update, active cases in the South Island are the highest they have ever been.

More concerning, perhaps, is that active cases on the South Island have increased 113 per cent since Sept. 8. Active cases in Central Island have only managed to climb by 10 per cent since Sept. 8 and on the brighter side, active cases in the North Island have decreased by 37 per cent during the same period.

The vaccine card effect on Vancouver Island

Time — and likely one’s perspective — will only tell whether the B.C. vaccine card system proves to be effective here on the Island. But if the provincial government’s goal was strictly to get more shots in people’s arms for the first time, then it appears to be working to a degree.

On Aug. 23, which was the day Premier John Horgan announced the vaccine card system, a total of 640,426 first doses had been administered on Vancouver Island.

That number had climbed to 649,293 — slightly more than 1 per cent — by Sept. 1, less than two weeks before the B.C. vaccine card system was to come into effect.

But by Sept. 22, more than a week after the B.C. vaccine card system was implemented, that figure had increased to 670,565 first doses, a five per cent increase since Aug. 23.

That may not seem like a lot, but that does mean 30,139 people in the region opted to get the first dose of vaccine in less than a month.

However, it is worth pointing out that the total number of vaccine doses — first and second doses combined — administered on Vancouver Island has risen by 3.3 per cent since Sept. 1 and just 1.5 per cent since Sept. 13, the day the B.C. vaccine card coming into force.

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New Zealand’s Ardern says lockdowns can end with high vaccine uptake



New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday the country should aim for a 90%-plus rate of inoculation, and could drop strict coronavirus lockdown measures once enough people were vaccinated.

New Zealand eliminated COVID-19 last year and remained largely virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in August led to a nationwide lockdown.

With its biggest city Auckland still in lockdown and new cases being reported every day, Ardern said vaccinations will replace lockdowns as the main tool against the virus, allowing authorities to isolate only those who are infected.

“If that rate (of vaccinations) is high enough then we will be able to move away from lockdowns as a tool,” she said.

The highest possible vaccine rates will give the most freedoms, Ardern said, adding that the country should be aiming for a 90% plus rate of vaccination.

After a sluggish start to its vaccination campaign, some 40% of adult New Zealanders are fully vaccinated and about 75% have had at least one dose.

Authorities reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1,123.

The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield warned earlier this week that New Zealand may not get to zero COVID cases again.


(Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Richard Pullin)

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