OTTAWA -- Ottawa Public Health and the city of Ottawa are spending millions of dollars to make sure all Ottawa residents can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

A report for Monday's Board of Health meeting shows the health unit is projecting a $61 million deficit in 2021 due to, "continuing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19." 

Staff say the mass vaccination campaign for COVID-19 vaccines, two large and lengthy waves of COVID-19 cases in January and April and the corresponding case and outbreak management efforts contributed to higher than anticipated expenditures.

"The Ministry has provided all health units with an assurance that there will be a process to request reimbursement of 2021 COVID-19 Extraordinary Costs, thus it is anticipated that Provincial funding will fully offset all pandemic related costs, therefore balancing the budget," said the report.

The report shows the health unit spent $27 million on the vaccine rollout in the first six months of 2021 as the vaccination campaign ramped up. Staff estimate the vaccine program will cost $55.7 million by the end of the year.

As of Wednesday, a total of 1,573,498 COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Ottawa. 

Ottawa Public Health and the city of Ottawa, including Ottawa paramedics, have administered COVID-19 vaccines through community vaccination clinics, pop-up vaccination clinics in neighbourhoods and visits to long-term care homes and retirement homes. Staff are now offering vaccination clinics in businesses and other locations.


The city of Ottawa estimates it will spend $11.8 million on the vaccine rollout in Ottawa this year, on top of the Ottawa Public Health costs. 

The money includes Emergency and Protective Services, and Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services.

A report for the Finance and Economic Development Committee this month showed the city spent $6.1 million in the first six months of the year on the vaccination program, which will be covered by the Ministry of Health.