The frustration over vaccine hunting is back, Ottawa residents say – BoilingNews

Ottawa residents looking for their COVID-19 booster shots this week say some of the frustration from previous vaccine hunts is back.

Mike Martin says he has been trying to book his booster deal for four days without success and he is concerned about Ontario’s plan to extend the eligibility to all adults.

“What’s going to happen on Monday … when it opens up to 18-plus? There’s no way the system is going to handle it,” Martin said.

He said that although he is impressed with the work of volunteers, like the Vaccine Hunters, who help people find agreements, he does not feel that it should be the responsibility of ordinary citizens.

“If they say, ‘you are eligible to order your vaccine,’ then you should be able to order your vaccine,” Martin said.

He said the province should support organizations like Ottawa Public Health to get the job done.

Long waiting times outside clinics

Even people who were lucky enough to book their shots on Thursday had to wait about two hours outside the Minto Sports Complex at the University of Ottawa.

Buddy Tatlock was waiting with her wife Beverly for her third dose.

“Booking is challenging and annoying,” he said. “If you do not have the resources and places to give the vaccines, then what is the point of opening it up to everyone?”

SE | Ottawa residents face a two-hour wait at the vaccine clinic, even with appointments

Ottawa residents face a two-hour wait at the vaccine clinic, even with appointments

Ottawa residents with agreements to get COVID-19 vaccines reported long waits at the Minto Sports Complex on Thursday, a few days before the province will extend third-dose eligibility to all Ontarians over 18 years of age. 0:54

A necessary bottleneck

Jen Baker, a pharmacist and owner of Loyalist Pharmacy in Amherst, Ont., Said opening up eligibility will ensure boosters come to people who may have received their second dose before some members of the 50-plus cohort.

“As much as it has created this bottleneck, we also needed that opening to try to make sure we keep as many people as possible out of hospitals for the next few weeks,” Baker said.

Jen Baker, pharmacist and owner of Loyalist Pharmacy near Kingston, Ont., Says health professionals will work long hours during the holidays as part of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign. (Jen Baker)

She said she is trying to prioritize those who have had the longest interval between their second dose – as well as those who receive their first dose to boost collective immunity.

Baker asks people to be patient with healthcare professionals who will spend long hours trying to meet the demand.

“A lot of people are going to give up their vacation to get it started and to create additional capacity in the system,” she said.

Vaccine work ‘critical’

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says it works with hospitals, family health teams, pharmacies as well as pulls staff across its own programs to respond to the booster campaign.

“We are temporarily reducing our public health programs. Almost everything, including our mental health and substance abuse health work, our home visits to new parents,” said Ottawa’s health worker Dr. Vera Etches.

“It’s not ideal, but that’s how critical this work is right now.”

On Thursday afternoon, OPH released 10,800 seats for Saturday at the Nepean Sportsplex Clinic and a new clinic at the EY Center at the southern end.

grev. Keith Egli, chairman of Ottawa’s Health Board of Health, said there will still be some protected agreements for older people and children in the system.

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