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Ottawa will receive 89,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine over the next two weeks, opens new appointments for residents 70 and older – Newstalk 1010 (iHeartRadio)

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Mayor Jim Watson says the city of Ottawa will receive 89,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to use over the next two weeks, opening up more appointment slots for residents aged 70 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement Friday morning, the city said it has confirmed delivery of additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and is able to offer more vaccination appointments to eligible residents.

“We’re received, for the next two weeks, a little over 89,000 doses for our community clinics in the various communities, that’s very good news,” said Watson in an interview with CTV News at Six anchor Christina Succi on Friday.

“I’ve been getting feedback on social media all day, people have been able to get appointments – that’s something they were very frustrated with.”

Individuals born in or before 1951 can now book appointments at the city of Ottawa’s community clinics between April 8 and 21.

Last Monday, Ontario expanded the eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to residents aged 70 and over in the city of Ottawa. Within hours, all appointments until April 7 were booked in Ottawa.

The city says appointments will be available at the four community vaccination clinics:

  • Nepean Sportsplex
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA
  • Eva James Memorial Community Centre
  • Ottawa City Hall

When you book an appointment through the provincial booking system, you will receive a confirmation code. Bring the code with you when you go to your appointment.

To book an appointment, you can visit Ontario’s online booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.

As of 4:30 p.m., 11,617 appointments had been booked on Friday for residents aged 70 and older to receive a COVID-19 shot.

After raising concerns last week that Ottawa wasn’t receiving it’s fair share of COVID-19 vaccines, Watson says the city is seeing some progress.

“We’re making some progress and making up for the fact that we weren’t getting our fair share,” said Watson. “We pushed the province hard and to their credit they’re starting to come with greater quantities here to Ottawa and to Eastern Ontario.”

The city will receive 11,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that will be distributed to primary caregivers and doctors.

Thirty-four Ottawa pharmacies will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations as early as Saturday to residents 55 and over.. Contact the pharmacy for information.

Councillor Mathieu Fleury says there needs to be more pharmacies offering the COVID-19 vaccine in the downtown core.

“From Rideau Shoppers, the next one that encompasses the city’s core is on Richmond (road), that’s really far west,” Fleury said on Sunday.

“There’s just thousands of residents that would meet the criteria to get vaccinated. We want vaccinations to not be a barrier.”

The mayor said Thursday the city hopes the province will allow more pharmacies in the downtown core to offer the COVID-19 vaccine as vaccine supplies increase.

COVID-19 doses administered in Ottawa

As of Friday, April 2, 151,286 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ottawa.

Ottawa Public Health reports 124,462 people have received the first shot, while 26,824 people have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Thirteen per cent of Ottawa’s eligible residents have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The city has received 174,410 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to date.

What you need to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine

The Ontario government says when booking an appointment, you will be asked for the following information:

  • Government of Ontario green photo health card
  • Birth date
  • Postal code
  • Email address or phone number

At the time of booking, eligible individuals will schedule their first and second vaccination appointments

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Jackie Perez

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Exclusive-Canada’s Ontario to expand use of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine as epidemic rages

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By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian province of Ontario will begin offering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday to people turning 40 or older this year, according to a government source.

The change will broaden access to vaccines as a third wave of infections threatens to overwhelm hospitals in Canada‘s most-populous province, and should make it easier to use doses that in some cases have been accumulating at pharmacies.

The change will be announced on Monday and go into effect across the province on Tuesday, according to the source. The vaccine has already been distributed to pharmacies but currently can only be given to people turning 55 or older this year.

Ontario announced new public health measures on Friday, promising checkpoints at provincial borders, new police powers and closing outdoor amenities, while leaving many workplaces open. The measures were widely criticized by doctors and public health experts, and the province quickly reopened playgrounds and modified the new police powers.

On March 29, Health Canada said it would review reports of serious blood clots and bleeding in a small number of people who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine in other countries, and an independent panel called the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) recommended that it only be given to people 55 and older. All provinces followed that advice.

But NACI’s recommendations are not binding. Last week, Health Canada, the country’s drug regulator, said it had reviewed all available evidence and would not restrict the use of the vaccine, because its benefits outweigh its potential risks. Health Canada said at the time that NACI was reviewing its recommendations.

On Sunday, NACI’s chair told Reuters that the panel would make a new recommendation on Tuesday.

Health Canada said regulators in the UK had estimated the risk of clots to be very small, roughly four in a million people who receive the vaccine. It also said the complication was treatable. Two people have developed it in Canada, and both are recovering.

Several other countries have limited the use of the vaccine to older people. Denmark has withdrawn the shot, and Norway said on Thursday it would take more time to decide whether to resume use.

Ontario reported 4,250 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The Ontario Hospital Association said 59 patients were admitted to intensive care on Saturday, bringing the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs to 737.

Health Canada says those who receive the vaccine should seek medical attention immediately if they experience shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent belly pain, neurological symptoms like severe headaches or blurred vision, or skin bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.

 

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Diane Craft and Peter Cooney)

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Trudeau mobilizes federal workers to battle COVID-19 in Toronto and rest of Ontario

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday he would send federal healthcare workers to help Toronto and the province of Ontario battle a third wave of COVID-19 infections that has forced shutdowns of schools and businesses.

“We are mobilizing federal healthcare workers from across government departments to deploy on the front lines in Ontario and specifically the Greater Toronto area where the situation is most critical,” Trudeau said in a video posted on Twitter.

Other provinces, especially on the Atlantic coast, are working “to determine what human resources and equipment they could free up over the coming days,” Trudeau said, adding that the federal government would cover the costs of that help.

The government will also seek to boost rapid testing, especially for essential workers, Trudeau said.

The government of Ontario, Canada‘s most-populous province and industrial powerhouse, has moved schools online and announced more stringent public health measures on Friday, including shutting the provincial borders to non-essential travel.

On Saturday, federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair deployed two mobile health units to set up more hospital beds in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, and the prime minister said he stood ready to send the Red Cross to staff mobile vaccination clinics in Ontario if help is requested.

Canada‘s seven-day average of new infections was 8,669, the chief medical officer said on Sunday, a 26% increase compared with the previous seven days. Ontario reported 4,250 new cases on Sunday.

Canada has been ramping up its vaccination campaign but still has a smaller percentage of its population inoculated than dozens of other countries, including the United States and Britain.

More than 48 million doses are to be delivered by the end of June, which is enough for all of Canada‘s population of some 38 million to receive at least one shot, with a total of 100 million doses expected by the end of September.

 

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Canada has second case of rare blood clots after AstraZeneca vaccin

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(Reuters) – Canada on Saturday reported a second case of rare blood clots with low platelets after immunization with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in a week, while it said it still recommended the use of the shot.

The person who experienced the very rare event has been treated and is recovering, Canada‘s health ministry said in a statement, adding that the person lives in the province of Alberta.

Based on the evidence available, Canada still maintains that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the potential risks, the statement said.

Canada health authorities “will continue to monitor the use of all COVID-19 vaccines closely and examine and assess any new safety concerns,” the statement said.

Canada reported a first blood clotting associated with the vaccine on Tuesday, and a day later, after a review, health authorities said they would not restrict use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

A separate advisory council had earlier recommended Canada stop offering the vaccine to people under 55. That panel is in the process of reviewing its advice.

Canada has been ramping up its vaccination campaign, but still has a smaller percentage of its population inoculated than dozens of other countries, including the United States and Britain.

Amid a spiking third wave of infections, Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, announced new public health restrictions on Friday, including closing the provinces borders to domestic travelers.

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Steve Scherer in Ottawa, writing by Steve Scherer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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