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Ottawa opens up COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all residents aged 80-plus

The province has announced a significant expansion that will see 45 locations in the London region offer the COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

Everyone aged 80 and older in Ottawa can make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, but the booking system could be different depending on where in the city you live.

The expansion of coronavirus vaccinations for anyone 80 and older comes as Ontario launches its centralized booking system for appointments.

Anyone in the province, Ottawa included, can now head over to the web portal if they fall into any of the categories currently eligible for vaccination, such as those in the 80-plus cohort, people aged 50 or older in Indigenous communities, front-line health and personal support workers, or adults receiving chronic home care.

Read more: How to navigate Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine booking system

There’s also an option to book appointments for those aged 60 to 64 to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, but those particular doses are only being distributed in three regions of the province and Ottawa is not among them.

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Ottawa residents booking their appointments through the province’s portal will be able to book for both doses at the same time.

A total of four community clinics will soon be open to accommodate these bookings:

  • Nepean Sportsplex (already open)
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA (opens Wednesday, March 17)
  • Eva James Memorial Community Centre (opens Tuesday, March 23)
  • Ottawa City Hall (opens Tuesday, March 23)

While the provincial booking system opens up for certain groups in the general population, Ottawa is continuing its strategy to vaccinate residents aged 80 and older living in neighbourhoods with high rates of coronavirus transmission via pop-up clinics.

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Those aged 80 and older living in the following communities can call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment at a mobile clinic closer to their neighbourhoods:

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  • Britannia Village
  • Carleton Heights – Rideauview
  • Carlington
  • Sandy Hill
  • Whitehaven – Queensway Terrace North

Ottawa’s local booking system, which had been open to residents aged 90 and older as of last Wednesday, put a pause on placing new appointments over the weekend after all of the slots were picked up.

The city issued a call for residents to stay home if they did not have an appointment as crowds started to form outside of the vaccination clinics on Friday. Walk-ins are not accepted anywhere in the city.

Residents are asked to show up to their appointments 10 minutes before their scheduled time to avoid crowding.

The city reminds residents to use the COVID-19 vaccine screening tool to see if they’re currently eligible to receive the vaccine and has asked in the past that residents not tie up booking phone lines if they are not yet eligible.

Read more: Canada to see lull in vaccine deliveries before dramatic increase week of March 22

The province is expected to open up vaccine distribution in Phase 2 between April and July, during which time people with certain health conditions and those aged 60 to 79 are expected to receive an initial dose.

Ottawa has launched a new subscription email service that sends updates on the local vaccine rollout plan directly to residents’ inboxes to help let people know when it’s their turn to book an appointment.

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