Ottawa Public Health making automated calls this weekend to inform residents about COVID-19 vaccine

OTTAWA — Some home-care patients in Ottawa will receive a phone call this weekend with information about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ottawa Public Health will be using automated phone calls to contact home-care patients in some higher-priority areas who are soon able to get their vaccine.

“If you get a call, kindly answer and follow the instructions,” said the health unit on Twitter.

The city of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health announced this week it will begin vaccinating residents 80 years of age and older on March 5, with pop-up clinics in communities experiencing rates of COVID-19 transmission.

The first clinics will be for adults receiving chronic home health care living in specific high-risk communities. The first of these communities include:

  • Ledbury
  • Herongate
  • Ridgemont
  • Emerald Woods
  • Sawmill Creek
  • Riverview
  • Heatherington

Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says automated calls have proven to be a useful tool to reach residents.

“We’ve used this approach for following up with high-risk contacts in school settings, where sometimes we have hundreds of high-risk contacts we need to reach and we do an automated message out to phones or email,” said Dr. Etches.

“It does seem to be a pretty useful tool.”

Ottawa Public Health will release more information about how to book an appointment on Monday.

Vaccinations for the broader community of adults 80 and older will begin later in March, pending vaccine supply. Those who do not live in high-risk areas will be notified about when and where they can receive their vaccine through several channels. The city and Ottawa Public Health are working on a strategy to reach out to this group, including advertisements, public service announcements, and media appearances. 

The city estimates it will need 88,000 doses to vaccinate all adults 80 and older who want a vaccine. 

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Ted Raymond

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