Ontario sending additional COVID-19 vaccines to Ottawa pharmacies, mayor says

OTTAWA — Mayor Jim Watson says Ottawa pharmacies will receive thousands of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine, as the Ontario government accelerates the timeline to receive second doses.

Ontario also announced Saturday afternoon that the wait between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be shortened to eight weeks from 12 weeks, with informed consent.

On Monday, Watson sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford, asking the province to send an additional 40,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ottawa to help meet the demand of the first and second dose appointments.

Appearing on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Live with Andrew Pinsent Saturday morning, Watson said Health Minister Christine Elliott responded to his letter, with a promise of 13,000 more Pfizer doses for pharmacies.

“She indicated that we’re close to the provincial per capita, but obviously not there yet,” said Watson, noting the province confirmed Ottawa is not receiving its full per capita share of doses.

“They have sent us more doses, it’s not as many as we wanted but we’ll continue to push them to ensure that we get those extra doses.”

Watson says his advocacy is for more doses for Ottawa’s mass vaccination sites, where 200,000 appointments have been booked between June 1 and July 6.

The province is going to send us an additional 13,000 Pfizer doses for pharmacies,” said Watson Saturday morning.

“While the pharmacies are doing a great job they can’t do the volume that we can. I think one day last week, we have 15,000 people in one day inoculated. Pharmacies, probably, is maybe able to do 100.”

Last weekend, Watson called on Ontario to provide Ottawa with its fair share of COVID-19 vaccines to meet demand. 

On Thursday, the city of Ottawa announced Ontario was shipping 5,000 additional doses of COVID-19 this week for use at a community clinic this weekend.

ONTARIO SHORTENS ASTRAZENECA DOSE INTERVAL

The mayor confirmed the additional doses on Newstalk 580 CFRA a few hours before Ontario announced that residents who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine this spring will be eligible for their second dose a few weeks earlier.

The second dose interval for interval for Ontarians who received their first dose of an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be accelerated to eight weeks from 12 weeks, with informed consent.

“With informed consent, individuals can choose between a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, at an eight to 12-week interval,” said the province in a statement.

“Recognizing that while waiting 12 weeks helps to ultimately provide more protection, some may choose to receive their second dose sooner to have the increased protection provided by a second dose earlier.”

Beginning Monday at 8 a.m., Ottawa residents who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be eligible to book their second dose appointment at an interval of eight weeks or more.

If you wish to receive an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for your second dose, you can book an appointment through the provincial booking system or a participating pharmacy. If you wish to receive a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where you received your first dose.

Ottawa physician Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth has already announced plans for a flash Jabapalooza for AstraZeneca recipients.

On Twitter, Dr. Myrth said everyone who received AstraZeneca as their first dose from her practice in April can receive a Moderna shot next weekend.

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