Ottawa opening 10,000 new COVID-19 vaccine appointments this weekend
OTTAWA -- The city of Ottawa opened 10,000 COVID-19 vaccination appointments for the Infinity Convention Centre this weekend, as it receives an extra shipment of doses from the province and redistributes other doses.
In an interview on CTV News at Five with Matt Skube, emergency and protective services general manager Anthony Di Monte said Ottawa is adding another 10,000 appointments for the Infinity Centre this weekend.
"Five-thousand are additional doses that we were given late this week by the province, which is great, and another 5,000 that we had planned to use through another source that won't be used, so we're adding that as well to the system," said Di Monte.
"Over the next few days, we'll have about 10,000 doses added."
In a memo to council, Di Monte said the Ontario government is shipping 5,000 doses to the city that will be used this weekend.
The appointments are available between June 12 and 14 at the Infinity Convention Centre on Gibford Drive. As of 10 a.m. Friday, Vaccine Hunters reported no appointments were available at the Infinity Convention Centre this weekend.
Residents can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
In a statement on Twitter, Mayor Jim Watson said the province's decision to provide Ottawa with addition doses shows Ottawa is doing a "good job" at vaccinating people as quickly as possible.
A total of 200,000 COVID-19 vaccination appointments have been booked for community clinics between June 1 and July 6.
"Every single dose of vaccine that we have available, we put on the system. We currently have over 200,000 appointments booked from now until July 6," Di Monte said Wednesday. "That's vaccine that'll be put in arms of older individuals but also all the other groups that are on the system."
Ottawa residents 12 and older are eligible to receive a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while anyone 70 and older and residents who received their first dose on or before April 18 are eligible for an accelerated second dose.
A published report Thursday said Ottawa was sitting on a large surplus of COVID-19 vaccines. In the memo to council, Di Monte said the reporting lacks "critical operational detail."
"Our capacity to administer vaccines scales with supply. On average, Ottawa has been administering 10,000 to 12,000 doses of vaccine per day. This pace has increased overtime in direct relation to vaccine supply received from the province," wrote Di Monte.
"We have, as a best practice, maintained up to a 48-hour buffer of vaccines. This means that up to 20,000 doses are held in reserve at any time. However, all these doses are allocated over the next 48 hours."
Di Monte says maintaining the 48-hour buffer ensures a vaccine is "available" for every resident at their confirmed appointment.
The city of Ottawa is using 10,000 to 12,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines a day.
The head of Ottawa's COVID-19 vaccine rollout adds the province providing Ottawa with nearly 5,000 additional doses on Friday shows Ottawa is getting vaccines into arms.
"Ottawa has a proven track record of getting vaccines into the arms of residents," said Di Monte.
"(Friday), the province is providing Ottawa Public Health with nearly 5,000 additional doses, which speaks both to this track record and disproves the idea that Ottawa is sitting on a disproportionately large surplus of vaccines."
Di Monte told CTV News at Five that if you have an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a dose waiting for you and the appointment will not be cancelled.
"There's not vaccines in fridges that we aren't using, it's too important and we need to get those vaccines in people's arms," said Di Monte.
Mayor Watson issued a letter this week to Premier Doug Ford, calling on the province to provide 40,000 more doses to cover accelerated second doses for residents 70 and older.
As of Wednesday, Ottawa had received 663,610 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The city says 91 per cent of the inventory has been administered.