Excitement builds as more Ottawa health-care workers prepare to get COVID-19 vaccine

OTTAWA — Those who meet the city’s newest residents say a COVID-19 vaccine is an added layer of security.

“We are thrilled and over the moon that we will get the chance to receive the vaccine,” said Elyse Banham, the executive director of the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. “We’re very excited that it adds another layer to what we have been doing, which is following all the public health guidelines. It adds another layer of safety for our clients and our staff” 

Midwife Rosemarie Parisien has received her first dose and knows how crucial it is. 

“We provide care in hospital, in our clinic, at the birth centre, in people’s homes and so reducing the risk of contributing to that possible transmission chain is a huge relief and really increases our ability to provide safe care for other people, for everybody,” Parisien said. 

Tens of thousands of patient-facing health-care workers are eligible to pre-register for a vaccine including doctors, physiotherapists and those working at dental offices. 

“I would like to think that this is just another element to add to the confidence people have. This is good for dentistry but it’s also good for communities,” said Dr. David Stevenson, the chair of the Ontario Dental Association pandemic recovery working group. 

Ottawa Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said, “This could be well over 50,000 people and the pre-registration system allows us to generate that list to better understand and appreciate the size of this population that we need to allocate vaccine for.” 

It’s not clear how soon health-care workers would receive an appointment after pre-registering. 

Anthony Di Monte, the general manager of Emergency and Protective Services said, “We’re going to be pushing that envelope and trying to get them in as quickly as possible.” 

So far, the city as administered more than 63,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including more than 12,700 in the last week.   

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