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100,000 accelerated second doses booked in Ottawa Monday morning

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OTTAWA -

The head of the City of Ottawa's COVID-19 vaccination task force says 100,000 appointments for earlier second doses were booked as of noon Monday.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, all adults 18 and older who received a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna became eligible to book an appointment to receive a second shot ahead of schedule.

The city of Ottawa says if your first dose was an mRNA vaccine, your second dose appointment must be at least 28 days after the first. If you received AstraZeneca as a first dose, you can book your second dose appointment at least eight weeks after the first.

The Ontario government estimated that the move would accelerate second dose eligibility for approximately 1.5 million Ontarians.

Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron" on Monday afternoon, Anthony Di Monte, Ottawa's general manager of emergency and protective services, said it was a busy morning.

"Over 100,000 people were able to book before noon and move up their second dose booking, which is great news," he said. 

Di Monte added that, as of noon Monday, there were still plenty of spaces.

"As of noon, we still had another 100,000 appointments remaining from July 7 to July 20, so people who have appointments in October can still book and move them up into that timeframe," he said. "It was a busy morning."

Some residents were concerned it would be a scramble to book an earlier second dose

"I think it's going to be a free-for-all," said Amanda Wahab of Ottawa. "I'm worried I'm not going to be able to bump up my appointment sooner than I want."

Brent Smith jokes trying to book a second vaccine appointment is going to be like "trying to get Justin Bieber tickets."

"I believe in the science and I want to get the vaccine as fast as possible, whichever one is available."

But Di Monte said by all accounts, the process was a smooth one.

"I'm told at the beginning there may have been a bit of delay but after that, I'm hearing it was moving very smoothly," he said. "100,000 bookings before noon, that's pretty significant."

As of Monday morning, OPH data show 995,981 doses had been administered in Ottawa, just shy of one million.

"In the next 24 hours, we'll be there," Di Monte said.

Jenn Thornhill-Verma, taking a horseback riding lesson at the recently reopened Royale Equestrian Centre, told CTV News Ottawa she hopes that a two-dose summer is upon us, which will aid to end activity interruptions once and for all.

“My original shot was booked in the middle of July, so now I’ll have it on Saturday,” says Thornhill-Verma, a mother of three, who calls the accelerated dosing total relief and a milestone moment. “When you think about being able to do things like this and get back outdoors and see your family and friends what more could you want.”

For business owners like the Royale’s Emily Bertrand, she says Monday’s announcement will benefit both staff, who can now book an earlier second-dose ahead of summer day camps which begin in two weeks, and added comfort for families who use the facility.

“I think it’s great for the parents who can get their kids vaccinated and just not have to worry,” says Bertrand. “I’m hoping that will allow us to go more back to normal. COVID-19 has been so hard after the last year for businesses.”

PFIZER OR MODERNA

The city of Ottawa says both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will be available at Ottawa's community clinics, but supplies may be limited.

"Given fluctuations in our vaccine supply, we cannot guarantee a particular vaccine type for adults 18 years and older," Di Monte said last week. "Interchanging vaccines is safe and effective."

The city of Ottawa says you may be offered a different second dose of mRNA vaccine than your first at community clinics. 

"The priority is to receive two doses of a vaccine to complete the series and be fully protected as soon as possible," said the city in a statement on Friday.

Smith says he would prefer to receive the same vaccine as his first dose, "But at the end of the day, I'm not going to turn away what's offered to me."

Wahab adds, "Obviously if I’m put into the position of getting Moderna as my second dose, I’m going to take it because I want to be vaccinated as soon as possible. It’s pretty much the same thing. I’ll take whatever they’re going to give me."

Di Monte said some people turned down a second dose over the weekend because the vaccine that was available was not their preferred brand, but he said it wasn't significant.

"We have had a couple hundred people turn around and say, 'No, I got Pfizer, I want Pfizer,'" Di Monte said. "I hope that's not a trend and we haven't seen it as a trend yet." 

More than 64,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered in Ottawa last week.

"They're interchangeable," Di Monte added. "We will always attempt to give you the first vaccine you got but there are periods where our delivery of different types of vaccines may be hindered. When you arrive, there will be a vaccine for you, but it may not be the one you want."

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

You can also call the provincial booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week.  You may also be able eligible for vaccination at a local pharmacy, at a pop-up clinic, or at the Bruyère vaccine clinic.

COVID-19 VACCINATION CLINICS

The city of Ottawa is operating 10 COVID-19 vaccination community clinics, which can administer more than 100,000 doses a week altogether.

The COVID-19 community clinics are:

  • Canadian Tire Centre – 1000 Palladium Drive
  • Canterbury Recreation Complex – 2185 Arch Street
  • Eva James Memorial Centre – 65 Stonehaven Drive
  • Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park
  • Nepean Sportsplex  – 1701 Woodroffe Avenue
  • Ottawa City Hall – 110 Laurier Avenue West
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital – 3045 Baseline Road
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA – 265 Centrum Blvd.
  • St. Laurent Complex – 525 Cote Street.
  • University of Ottawa – Minto Sports Complex – King Edward Avenue

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