Second dose dash continues in Ottawa as risk of COVID-19 variant increases
OTTAWA -- There is a push to speed up second doses across Ontario as the Delta variant continues to spread.
On Saturday, hundreds of people received their first and second doses at pop-up sites in Ottawa.
"It’s all about getting as many of the doses to as many of our citizens as fast as possible, period," said Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, an Ottawa critical and palliative care doctor.
The weekend push in the capital comes as accelerated second dose booking eligibility is set to open further on Monday to adults who received their first dose before May 9.
"We need everybody to get their second doses. This is a big push to get everybody immunized as fast as we can," said family physician Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, who organized her fourth pop-up clinic in the Glebe Saturday.
The initiative, dubbed 'Jabapalooza', saw nearly 600 people get a vaccine, most of which were second doses.
"Almost everybody who’s here, they got their first shot from us at one of the first Jabapaloza’s," said Dr. Kaplan-Myrth. "Some of these people are the essential workers who we had reached out to before to say come to us and we’ll give you your vaccine."
In Ottawa's west end, a pop-up clinic at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre filled up quickly, fully booked by 10 a.m.
First and second doses were offered there to residents from 21 high risk neighbourhoods designated by Ottawa Public Health.
This comes as Ottawa gets set to open five new mass vaccination clinics on Monday, thanks to an influx of Moderna vaccines from the province. Hundreds of new appointments were available online Saturday evening.
"The strategy is sound, we know the vaccines are effective against the variant, there is reasons for optimism, there is reasons to think we can see that light at the end of the tunnel," said Dr. Kyeremanteng.
As of Friday, 75 percent of adults in the capital had received at least one dose of a vaccine.