Ottawa doctor hosts Jabapalooza to administer COVID-19 fourth doses
Jabapalooza made its return once again to Ottawa.
The COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the Glebe on Sunday is the latest efforts by Dr. Nili Kaplan Myrth to help slow the current wave fuelled by the Omicron sub-variant BA.5.
"My mother’s had it, my daughter’s had it but we’ve managed to keep out of it so far," said Fiona Schrader, who received her fourth dose.
With second booster doses open to those 18 and older in Ontario, Schrader and her husband Mark are relieved to get the jab in the arm.
"A little concerned, it seems to be getting lesser in severity but more likely you’re gonna get it."
Here in Ottawa three new deaths have been linked to COVID-19 in the last week, while 37 people were in hospital as of Friday. The latest spike in positive cases are also affecting several people’s day-to-day routine.
"I’m more hesitant to go into the office because I just don’t want to be in the big gathering spaces," said Victoria Weapenicappo.
"We also now have a lot of weddings, we are trying to be really careful in advance of that," said Sarah Hedges-Chow.
"I think everyone is being more cautious about the impact, not just on themselves but those they care about," said Jefferson Allen.
While wastewater data is trending down, COVID-19 numbers are still higher than a month ago. It’s a rising concern for many in health care.
"The fact our health care system is crumbling and having increased COVID-19 cases only adds to that problem," said Dr. Dale Kalina, an infectious diseases physician with Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington. He says we will likely see more waves especially as we head into fall.
"I’m telling people to wear public masks in indoor places if you have any cold symptoms, get yourself tested if you can but stay away from other people," said Dr. Kalina. "That is the most important thing we can do right now to preserve our health care system that we have."
Meanwhile, Schrader, who is immunocompromised and has not tested positive for COVID-19, said these waves are now part our new normal.
"This is our new reality," said Schrader. "You just want to make sure you’re obtaining that protection to keep yourself healthy."
As of 6 p.m., Dr. Kaplan-Myrth said Jabapalooza had administered more than 900 doses on Sunday.
Starting Monday, Quebec children between six months to under five years old will be able to receive a modified lower dose of the vaccine, with the province’s health officials saying 70,000 doses are available. Children in Ottawa and Ontario can begin to book appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.