The Ottawa Hospital has received its first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine ahead of plans to start vaccinating workers at long-term care homes on Tuesday.
The local hospital confirmed on Twitter it has received its allotted 3,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, approved for use by Health Canada last week.
The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus is one of the first provincial hubs designated to administer the virus, in part because it is equipped with the cold storage facilities needed to preserve the vaccine.
The first vaccinations in Ottawa will happen Tuesday morning, a hospital spokesperson has confirmed.
A personal support worker in Toronto became the first person in Ontario to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. A long-term care resident was the first to receive the vaccine in Quebec on Monday.
Since the Pfizer vaccination requires two doses administered three weeks apart, 1,500 people in Ottawa will receive the initial shot this coming week. The remaining 1,500 doses will be held in the hospital’s freezers until the province’s supply chain is formalized, according to Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force.
Workers at the Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre are among the first long-term care employees in Ottawa set to receive the vaccine, Global News has learned.
A spokesperson confirmed 275 of the care home’s 800 employees are currently registered to receive the vaccine as part of the initial distribution.
The Perley Rideau has faced three coronavirus outbreaks over the course of the pandemic, with 14 deaths and 74 COVID-19 cases linked to the care home, according to Ottawa Public Health’s dashboard.
A spokesperson with Extendicare, which runs multiple long-term care homes in Ottawa, also confirmed to Global News that some of its employees will be vaccinated this week.
“We are pleased to have an initial cohort of our dedicated team members in Ottawa invited to participate in the first phases of Ontario’s vaccine roll-out,” said Extendicare spokesperson Laura Gallant in a statement on Monday.
A spokesperson with Revera Living would not confirm whether its local employees will receive the vaccine this week, but did say the care home operator is working with local public health units and the Ministry of Health to “support the vaccination” of its front-line staff.