Beginning today, two more groups of Ottawa residents can step forward to receive the COVID-19 vaccine: patient-facing health care workers who are classified as “very high priority” and people age 90 and older. The booking process for each of these groups is different.
If you are a patient-facing health care worker who is in the “very high priority” category, which includes most community-based doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, midwives and physiotherapists, you can visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca to pre-register for your vaccination appointment. You will be contacted with the details to get your appointment when it is your time in the vaccination sequencing. A definition of who is an eligible patient-facing “very high priority” health care worker is available through the Province of Ontario.
If you are 90 or older (born in 1931 or earlier) you can call 613-691-5505 to book an appointment. Service providers can take your call between 7:30 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8:30 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. Service is available in multiple languages. Appointments will take place starting Friday, March 12 at the Nepean Sportsplex community vaccination clinic.
The call-in booking system has been put in place to serve residents until a provincial online booking system is launched next week. We know that there is a high demand for these vaccines, so we expect very high call volume for these bookings.
When calling into the booking line, callers will be put into a queue where there is the potential for long wait times.
Only eligible residents should call the COVID-19 vaccine booking phone line to make an appointment. Please help us keep phone lines open for those who are eligible to receive a vaccine. Please do not call 3-1-1 or the general Ottawa Public Health phone line, as appointments cannot be booked on these lines.
Walk-ins will not be accepted, so please call in advance to book your appointment.
To enable physical distancing and to reduce the number of people in the clinic, please arrive for your vaccine no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time.
In addition, more community vaccination clinics will open across the city after a provincial booking system is put into place and vaccine supply increases. Eligible residents will also be able to book at these locations at that time, so there will be many more opportunities to book an appointment. More information on the clinics and how to book will be available next week.
The Province of Ontario recently changed the interval between the first and second dose of all vaccines. The second dose will now be given 16 weeks after the first dose. If you already have an appointment booked for your second dose, you will be contacted to reschedule. Exemptions include residents of long-term care homes and retirement homes and remote and isolated First Nation communities.
Confirm your eligibility
For non-healthcare workers, to confirm that you are eligible for vaccination, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Screening Tool. Residents who were eligible in previous weeks remain eligible today and throughout the citywide vaccination process. If you are unable to book an appointment when your eligibility is first announced, you can still receive the vaccine at a later date.
Accommodations will be made for residents who need help with accessibility and all clinic locations are accessible. If you are a Para Transpo user, you can book your ride to the pop-up clinic through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation line at 613-842-3600. If a transportation option is not available to you, you can request a ride to and from the clinic when you book your vaccine appointment.
Preparing for an appointment
The following people need to consult their healthcare provider to discuss vaccination risks and benefits before their appointment and will be required to verbally attest that they have done so:
- Pregnant individuals
- Those receiving stem cell therapy, CAR-T therapy, chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and other targeted agents
It is also recommended that you do not receive another vaccine in the 14 days prior to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Next steps in vaccine roll-out
Residents of all ages who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to follow announcements on the City of Ottawa and OPH websites and social media channels, and from your local news media to learn when they can receive their vaccine. They can also sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination update email newsletter for regular news on the vaccine roll-out.
Please refer to Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan for details on other priority groups within Phase 1 of the plan. The provincial government will make vaccines available to additional groups in Phase 2 between April and July, including individuals with health conditions and people between the ages of 60 and 79. Vaccinations are expected to start for the oldest age group and decrease in five-year increments as vaccine supplies are available.