OTTAWA -- Ottawa residents have many questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including when they will receive the vaccine and how will they be notified about receiving the shot.

The City of Ottawa has released answers to several COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Frequently Asked Questions from the public and members of council.

Here is a look at the answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions from the City of Ottawa.

When will people in Ottawa start getting vaccinated against COVID-19

The Ottawa Hospital administered the city's first COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15.

As of Friday, Jan. 22, Ottawa Public Health reported 22,981 doses had been administered in Ottawa.

Who is determining who can get a COVID-19 vaccine and when?

The city says the Government of Canada is responsible for approval and procurement of COVID-19 vaccine supply. The Government of Ontario is responsible for the distribution of these vaccines across the province.

When will I be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and who comes next in Ottawa?

The City of Ottawa says the province has launched a three-phased vaccine distribution implementation plan:

  • Phase 1 – Starting Dec. 2020: The city says, "Limited doses of the vaccine available for residents, essential caregivers, staff and other employees of long-term care homes, retirements homes, and other congregate settings caring for seniors at high-risk; eligible health care workers in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidance; first Nation communities and urban Indigenous populations, and adult chronic home care recipients."
  • Phase 2 Starting March 2021: The city says, "Increasing stock of vaccines, available to older adults, beginning with those 80 and older, people who live and work in high-risk congregate settings (for example, shelters, community living), frontline essential workers, including first responders, teachers, food processing workers, individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers, and other populations and communities who are at greater COVID-19 risk.
  • Phase 3 Starting Aug. 2021: The city says, "Vaccines available widely across Ontario for anyone in the general population who wants to be immunized. These timelines are subject to change subject to possible additional vaccine approvals and supply.  

First vaccine given in Ottawa

I am an older adult, but I don't live in a long-term care or retirement home. When can I be vaccinated against COVID-19?

The city says, "Older adults, beginning with those 80 and older and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout are expected to be offered vaccines starting in March 2021, depending on availability of vaccines."

I am an essential worker. When can I be vaccinated against COVID-19?

The city says, "Frontline essential workers, including: first responders, teachers and other education staff and food processing workers are expected to be offered vaccines in Phase 2 from March to July 2021. Specific timing will depend on availability of vaccines. The provincial task force will use the ethical framework and the best available data to identify other priority populations within this phase, based on available vaccine supply."

Where will I be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

The city says various strategies will be used to distribute and administer vaccines across Ottawa, based on the quantity and type of vaccines received throughout 2021.

"The primary locations will include hospital clinics, community clinics, pharmacies, mobile vaccination teams, primary health care providers like family doctors and by other health care professionals such as nurses working in congregate living settings, including long-term care homes and shelters."

Where will the City of Ottawa's community clinics be located?

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health have identified four locations for community COVID-19 vaccine clinics:

  • Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Patricia Way
  • Eva James Memorial Centre, 65 Stonehaven Drive
  • Peter Clark Facility, 255 Centrum Boulevard
  • Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue


Is there a list I need to be on to get the vaccine?

The city says, "No. The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health will undertake robust public information campaigns to keep residents informed on the vaccine rollout locally."

How will I be notified when it is my turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The City of Ottawa says as supply increases in the coming months, officials will be communicating through various media channels on who is eligible to present where for vaccination.

Is getting the COVID-19 vaccine voluntary?

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health say getting the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary.

"COVID-19 vaccines will not be mandatory, but you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated."

Why should I get vaccinated against COVID-19?

"Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases. Safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 are becoming available to protect us against COVID-19," said the statement from the City of Ottawa.

"While many people infected with COVID-19 experience only mild illness, others may get a severe illness or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you are not considered to be at increased risk of severe complications. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience the illness itself."

Can people who have already tested positive for COVID-19 get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The city says, "Yes. Those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 should still be vaccinated and people do not need COVID-19 testing prior to vaccination."