COVID-19 pop-up vaccination clinic held in Ottawa hotspot postal code

OTTAWA — As the race to vaccinate Ottawa residents continues this weekend, a pop-up clinic opened in the K1V area – one of three postal codes in Ottawa identified as COVID-19 hot spots.

Rizwan Baksh, 53, was excited to get his shot at the clinic set up in the basement of Mosque of Mercy in Emerald Woods.

After all, this is his mosque.  

“I normally come here for Ramadan,” said Baksh, who is currently fasting. “I would go down to the basement where they are doing the vaccines. We used to come there and break our fast and then we’ll have supper after prayer.”

But he hasn’t been at the mosque in over a year since the pandemic began. That is, until Saturday where he was scheduled to get his COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s exciting to be there at least to get the vaccine once again,” he said.

Because the K1V postal code has been recognized as a COVID-19 hotspot, residents aged 50 and older can register for a vaccine.

“I thought you know, I can wait because I’m not in a hurry to see anyone,” said Anne Stewart, who received her first shot Saturday.

“My doctor encouraged me because of my age,” said Stewart, who is in her 60s. “So you know, here I am.”

As for Baksh, an essential worker unable to work from home, he feels more secure now that he’s received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“The more people get the vaccine the better for that hotspot to be out of the hotspot,” he said.

And that includes his family, who are all essential workers as well. 

“My wife is a retail worker, my daughter is a registered nurse and my other daughter works at a retail store,” he said. “The whole house is essential so I’m happy for all of us to get our first shot.”

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