30,000 Ottawa residents book COVID-19 vaccine appointments as eligibility expands
OTTAWA -- As thousands of Ottawa residents booked a COVID-19 vaccination appointment on Thursday, the city of Ottawa added 37,000 more appointments to the booking system.
The eligibility to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment expanded on Thursday to include residents aged 50 and over, individuals with high-risk health conditions, and some individuals who cannot work from home.
Ottawa's general manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte tells CTV News at Five with Matt Skube that more than 30,000 eligible residents booked appointments on Thursday.
"As I mentioned (Wednesday), we had 60,000 new appointments in the system and as of 3 p.m. more than half of those are already booked, which is good news. That means people are getting in and getting their appointments, and that's great," said Di Monte.
"Even better news, today we added another 37,000 to the available appointments, so there are still about 66,000 appointments available. So those new eligible groups I would encourage people please go online and book your appointments so you can get your vaccine."
Di Monte says all 66,000 open appointments in Ottawa will be scheduled until the end of May.
"As I've always said, we only add appointments when we know we have confirmed vaccine. I don't want people to have an appointment, expect they're going to get a vaccine and then find out they have to cancel their appointment because we don't have vaccine," said Di Monte. "Today we got some good news, another 37,000 added and if in the month we get more, we'll add them right away."
As of Wednesday, 41 per cent of Ottawa residents over the age of 18 had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday, Ottawa residents 18 and older in postal codes K1T, K1V and K2V became eligible to schedule an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Ontario government will expand the eligibility to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through the provincial booking system the week of May 10 to cover residents 40 and older, individuals with at-risk health conditions and some people who cannot work from home, including grocery store and pharmacy workers, public transit workers and social workers and social services staff.
ELIGIBLE GROUPS ON THURSDAY, MAY 6
The Ontario government says these groups will be eligible to book an appointment through the provincial online booking system beginning at 8 a.m. on May 6.
Individuals turning 50 and over in 2021
Individuals with high-risk and highest-risk health conditions:
- Obesity (BMI > 40)
- Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g. chemotherapy, immunity weakening medications)
- Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g. Down Syndrome)
- Pregnant individuals
- Organ transplant recipients
- Other health conditions listed as highest risk by the Province of Ontario.
First group of essential workers who cannot work from home including:
- Education staff who provide direct supports to students with complex special needs
- Elementary/secondary school workers
- Workers responding to critical events (e.g. police, fire, special constables)
- Enforcement, inspection and compliance (e.g. bylaw, building inspectors, food inspectors, animal welfare inspectors, border inspection officers)
- Individuals working in licensed child care settings
- Food manufacturing and distribution workers
- Agriculture and farm workers
- Funeral, crematorium and cemetery workers
WHAT YOU NEED TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR A COVID-19 VACCINE
The Ontario government says when booking an appointment through the provincial online system, 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.