Lacking supply, Ottawa Hospital to pause COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Ontario will be out of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines by the end of next week, Ford says' Coronavirus: Ontario will be out of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines by the end of next week, Ford says
WATCH: Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Friday that the province will be out of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the end of next week. – Jan 8, 2021

The Ottawa Hospital says it only has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to continue inoculating residents until Saturday, at which point it will be forced to put the local vaccination campaign on hold until the following week’s shipment arrives.

A spokesperson for the Ottawa Hospital confirmed Friday afternoon that the facility’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic is running out of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Read more: ‘Urgently need vaccine’ says Toronto’s University Health Network president on COVID-19 doses

“The clinic is expected to provide vaccinations until this Saturday. After Saturday, the clinic is expected to be paused and resume operations towards the end of next week,” said Michaela Schreiter, spokesperson for the Ottawa Hospital, in a statement to Global News on Friday.

The short supply of vaccines complicates plans to provide some front-line health-care workers who received the vaccination last month with their second dose.

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As a result, the remaining doses will be allocated to long-term care home residents and individuals requiring second doses within the 21-to-28-day window provided by Pfizer. Some people with vaccination appointments already booked will be rescheduled, according to the hospital.

The Ottawa Hospital passed a milestone of 10,000 vaccines distributed locally on Wednesday.

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Ottawa Hospital administers the city’s 1st COVID-19 vaccine – Dec 15, 2020

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, the province said 4,053 people have been fully vaccinated with two shots. Ontario has administered 87,563 doses so far.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford first raised the alarm on Friday morning, saying that the Ottawa Hospital was among institutions running out of their supply of vaccinations and that the entire province would be out of Pfizer vaccines by the end of next week.

Provincial technical briefings from earlier in the week said, however, that the province is due to receive another 800,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in the week of Jan. 11 as well as 56,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

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Ottawa was not among the cities in Ontario listed as top priority to receive the Moderna vaccine — the only other approved COVID-19 vaccine in Canada — as that initial supply was prioritized for harder-hit regions of the province.

Read more: All long-term care residents, staff in Toronto, Peel, York, Windsor-Essex to be vaccinated by Jan. 21

Ottawa nonetheless started vaccinating vulnerable long-term care residents earlier this week, having received permission from the province to move the Pfizer vaccine.

Anthony Di Monte, the head of Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force, and Dr. Vera Etches, the city’s top doctor, sent a joint memo Friday afternoon updating city council on the rollout of vaccines in the city’s 28 care homes.

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So far, residents at the Perley and Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre, Carlingview Manor and the Peter D. Clark Home have now received vaccinations, with residents at Gary J. Armstrong and St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa also slated to receive their vaccinations on Friday.

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The task force determined the order of which care homes receive the vaccine based on a framework weighing factors including the risk of exposure to the virus and potential severity of an outbreak.

The full ranking dictating the order long-term care homes will receive the vaccine is as follows:

  1. Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre
  2. Carlingview Manor Long-Term Care Home
  3. Peter D. Clark Home (City of Ottawa facility)
  4. St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa
  5. Garry J. Armstrong (City of Ottawa facility)
  6. Saint-Louis Residence – Bruyère
  7. Extendicare Medex
  8. Extendicare West End Villa
  9. Extendicare Laurier Manor
  10. The Glebe Centre
  11. Madonna Care Community
  12. Extendicare Starwood
  13. Garden Terrace
  14. Centre d’Accueil Champlain (City of Ottawa facility)
  15. Granite Ridge Care Community
  16. Forest Hill
  17. Villa Marconi
  18. Carleton Lodge (City of Ottawa facility)
  19. Revera Montfort Long-Term Care Home
  20. Osgoode Care Centre
  21. Salvation Army Ottawa Grace Manor
  22. Hillel Lodge
  23. New Orchard Lodge
  24. Revera Longfields Manor Long-Term Care Home
  25. Résidence Élizabeth Bruyère
  26. Manoir Marochel
  27. Sarsfield Colonial Home
  28. Royal Ottawa Place

Di Monte and Etches cautioned that the order does not dictate a specific timeline of vaccinations, which is constrained by the lack of provincial supply.

After the vaccine has been distributed throughout the 28 long-term care homes, the task force will set out to administer doses in the highest-risk retirement residences, according to the memo.

— With files from Global News’s Daina Goldfinger

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