As you may know, OPH follows the provincial ethical framework and priority sequence for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The framework evaluates the patient population risk of exposure, the risk of severe disease or outcomes and health system capacity to ensure ongoin
g care to the population. There is a limited number of vaccines available and therefore the vaccine distribution framework helps guide decisions to ensure equitable distribution. Please know that we understand that many people are anxious to receive the vaccine for COVID-19. At this time, the need still exceeds vaccine supply even for those identified by the sequence for priority distribution. Although vaccine supply is increasing, the supply is still a limiting factor. The Province has recently updated their sequencing plan to include adults aged 80 and over (not living in congregate homes for seniors) in the priority groups to be offered COVID-19 vaccines as part of Phase 1 of the provincial rollout plan, once supply increases. Previously, older adults were in Phase 2. Also included in Phase 1 are highest priority health care workers set out in provincial guidance (including medical first responders), residents of congregate care settings for seniors, Indigenous adults, among others. However, the next phase of the vaccine rollout (Phase 2), will include older adults 79 and older (decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine roll out), people who live and work in high-risk congregate settings (for example, shelters, community living), frontline essential workers, including, teachers and other education staff, the food processing industry and individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers. The province is responsible for defining who is included within the priority groups and vaccines will be administer based on supply. We hope more detailed information may be made available shortly. This distribution plan will offer vaccination directly to residents of Ottawa through hospital clinics, mobile vaccination teams, community clinics, pharmacies, primary health care providers like family doctors and by other health care professionals such as nurses working in congregate living settings, including long-term care homes and shelters. As supply of vaccine is expected to increase in the coming weeks and months, the City of Ottawa and OPH will be communicating through various media channels on who is eligible to present for vaccination. The City of Ottawa and OPH will undertake robust public information campaigns to keep residents informed on the vaccine rollout locally. The City’s Emergency Operations Centre and OPH will do all that we can to ensure Ottawa residents who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to access it as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, these plans are subject to change, and this reflects the current planning and situation at this time. The total amount of vaccine that will be distributed to the City of Ottawa and precise delivery dates are not yet known. These decisions are made by the Province and subject to vaccine availability from the federal government. Announcements from the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health on the next steps for vaccine distribution will take place on Mondays. We are very sorry that we cannot provide any further details at this time, but would encourage you to continue to visit the COVID-19 Vaccine website as the content on this website, including the Frequently Asked Questions page, will both continue to be updated as we receive more information. You may also wish to follow OPH on social media at https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth or https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/. The City of Ottawa and OPH have a robust communications strategy to ensure that information is shared with the public as it becomes available, you may also wish to sign up to receive City the PSA’s at https://app06.ottawa.ca/esubscriptions/signup-form-en.html. If you need any additional support at this difficult time, please find community resources here: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/COVIDMentalHealth.