OTTAWA -- With thousands of Ottawa residents set to become eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, the city warns there are only 60,000 available appointments until the end of the month.

On Thursday, residents 50 years of age and older across Ottawa, individuals with high-risk and highest risk health conditions and "group one" essential workers who cannot work from home can book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through the provincial booking system.

"For everyone who's planning to book tomorrow, you should know that we currently have more than 60,000 open appointments until the end of the month," said Anthony Di Monte, Ottawa's general manager of emergency and protective services.

"More will added in June as soon as can we can receive confirmation from the province how many more doses we will receive."

As of Wednesday, the city had received 362,780 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 353,515 residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, accounting for 41 per cent of residents over the age of 18.

"We are expecting that starting in late May, vaccine supply will increase and the province will significantly expand eligibility with individuals aged 18 and over eligible to book through the provincial booking system as early as the week of May 24," said Di Monte.

"As a result, our team is preparing to ramp up clinics and delivery tactics accordingly."

With eligibility expanding to more age groups this week, Di Monte issued a warning about a lack of vaccine supply to meet the demand.

"We want to remind Ottawa residents who become eligible to book their vaccine, that it could take some time for them to receive an appointment," said Di Monte.

"We understand this is frustrating as many residents want this vaccine as soon as possible. As more vaccine supply is confirmed, additional appointments will be added to the system."

Di Monte said if the city receives more vaccine this month, it will open up more appointments.

"We've taken the position not to have what's happened in other communities – vaccine appointments and no confirmed vaccines. We wait until we get confirmation that we're getting this vaccine and it's pretty solid," said Di Monte.

"I want to reiterate too, the information we're getting and what we're observing is very positive. We think we're going to start seeing steady flow of vaccine."

On Monday, residents aged 18 and older living in K1T, K1V and K2V became eligible to book an appointment through the provincial booking system.

"Around 17,000 people booked appointments at our clinics in the first 24 hours after residents in these areas became eligible," said Di Monte.

The city is opening a temporary clinic at the Infinity Centre this weekend to vaccinate residents living in in the hot spot postal codes K1T and K1V. Pop-up clinics are also being held in high-risk neighbourhoods identified by Ottawa Public Health.


Residents 50 and older across Ottawa

Group one essential workers

  • 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. by-law, 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

High-risk individuals

  • Obesity (BMI over 40)
  • Other treatments causing immunosuppression (chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • One essential caregiver for individuals with the conditions in this category who require regular and sustained assistance with personal care or activities of daily living

Highest-risk health conditions (eligible the week of April 26)

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients (bone marrow transplant)
  • Neurological diseases that impact breathing (for example, motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Haematological malignancy diagnosed within the last year
  • Kidney disease with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 30
  • Pregnant individuals
  • One essential caregiver for individuals with the conditions in this category who require regular and sustained assistance with personal care or activities of daily living


The article misidentified the "highest risk" groups eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.