Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

As of Wednesday, more than half of Ottawa’s community vaccination clinics are closing as the city begins to phase out its mass vaccination program at rates that are dramatically lowered.

The five clinics – which the city says are strategically located across Ottawa – “have the capacity to handle the expected demand for appointments,” reads a note to the council released late Tuesday.

From Wednesday, the remaining open locations include:

  • Eva James Memorial Community Center.
  • Nepean Sportsplex (halls A and B).
  • Ottawa City Hall.
  • Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA.
  • Queensway Carleton Hospital (which has a plan to close on July 30).

The memo said, along with the remaining community clinics, that shots will still be available at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, as well as pop-ups focusing on priority neighborhoods and targeted populations.

The memo reports that more than 1,370,000 doses have been administered in Ottawa, where 83 percent of all eligible people now have at least a single dose and 67 percent fully vaccinated. At the peak of vaccination in late May and June, city officials reported reaching up to 100,000 doses per week.

City officials have previously said there are still about 300,000 people eligible for vaccinations, including about 130,000 children under the age of 12, who are expected to be eligible later in the year.

But the pace of vaccination has slowed significantly.

Healthcare professionals reflect on ‘bittersweet’ closure of vaccination clinics as the number of cases falls

Ross Wilkinson, a half-retired orthopedic surgeon, and Karen Wallace McFaul, a nurse who retired to work at a vaccination clinic, say the closure of several community clinics is “bittersweet” as the number of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa drops. 0:54

Last week, the city began offering walk-in appointments at most first- and second-dose centers, with the number of open spaces rising from 500 on July 10 to more than 4,000 a week later.

“As we continue to roll out vaccines, other more targeted vaccination channels will be prioritized to reach the rest of the population,” the memo, signed by Anthony Di Monte, general manager of emergency and protection services, said. health worker Dr. Brent Moloughney.

‘Bittersweet’ last day at closing clinics

Tuesday was a “bittersweet day”, according to Dr. Lorne Wiesenfeld, member of the vaccination team at the clinic in the horticultural building located in Lansdowne, which ended the last day.

Dr. Lorne Wiesenfeld, an emergency physician at Ottawa Hospital, has vaccinated residents at the vaccination clinic in Lansdowne. He calls the last day “bitter sweet”. (CBC)

The site has been open since Dec. 15, and the team marked 200,000 shots Tuesday.

“We’ve made a lot of new friends here, and it’s sad,” said Wiesenfeld, who is also an emergency room doctor at Ottawa Hospital.

“Maybe it’s a sign that we’re starting to reach our numbers, and maybe we are no longer needed,” he said. “We’ve made our inroads into society. It’s reassuring.”

The six sites that distributed their last vaccines on Tuesday are:

  • Canadian Tire Center.
  • Canterbury Recreation Complex.
  • Horticultural building.
  • Infinity Center.
  • University of Ottawa’s Minto Sports Complex.
  • The St-Laurent complex.

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