Coronavirus: 2nd round of Ottawa long-term care vaccinations wrapping up Friday

The City of Ottawa will reach a milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Friday, finishing the second round of administering vaccines in long-term care homes. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

The City of Ottawa will finish its second round of COVID-19 vaccinations for residents in local long-term care homes on Friday, Mayor Jim Watson says.

The milestone in Ottawa’s coronavirus vaccination campaign comes a week after long-term care residents started receiving their second doses.

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The first round of vaccinations took 11 days, during which 92 per cent of residents across the city’s 28 long-term care homes opted to receive the vaccine.

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Ottawa’s tight supply of COVID-19 vaccines had thrown the second round of vaccinations into uncertainty, as Canada received no new shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine during the week of Jan. 25.

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Anthony Di Monte, head of Ottawa’s vaccine task force, had said staff at the Ottawa Hospital were “doing the math” to determine whether the supply on-hand and expected future deliveries would be sufficient to provide long-term care residents with the second jab within the recommended 21-day to 28-day period between administered doses.

The city also received a boost to its supply earlier this week, with nearly 5,000 new doses arriving. Ottawa has received 30,225 doses of the vaccine to-date.

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The paramedics, pharmacists and long-term care staff have also been able to extract a sixth dose from Pfizer-BioNTech’s stated five-dose vials, helping to stretch the supply.

Next on the list for vaccination are the city’s highest-risk retirement homes and other shared living facilities. High-risk individuals living outside congregate care will receive the vaccine in phase 2 of Ontario’s vaccination rollout plan, expected to begin in March.

The coronavirus vaccine is expected to be more widely available to Canadians this summer.

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