OTTAWA – Ottawa’s frontline heroes, the city’s healthcare workers, can now start to line-up to get their COVID-19 vaccination.
“Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is pleased to announce today (March 9) vaccine supplies will allow healthcare worker vaccination to proceed to the ‘very high priority’ group starting in the next few days,” the OPH released in a statement. “This important milestone expands the vaccine distribution to this group of health care workers who have been vital in ensuring the health and safety of the people of Ottawa.”
Health care workers are prioritized according to the provincial Guidance for Prioritizing Health Care Workers for COVID-19 Vaccination.
The ‘very high priority’ category is broad and includes tens of thousands of health care workers in Ottawa in the following settings and roles:
- Birth centres
- Community-based specialists
- Death investigation professionals
- Gynecology/obstetrics, midwifery
- Nurse practitioner led clinics/contract nursing agencies
- Otolaryngology (ear, nose, throat)
- Primary care
- Respirology (respiratory therapy)
- Walk-in clinics
“Due to the significant number of individuals eligible, OPH and the Ottawa Hospital clinic (currently the site of health care worker vaccination) are developing a broader system for health care workers to enable those in this category to register to be vaccinated in an orderly sequence,” OPH said.
Online pre-registration portal
On Wednesday, March 10 OPH will launch an online pre-registration portal that will enable frontline health care workers in any of the above settings to register as a ‘very high priority health care worker for vaccination. This information will be shared on Ottawa Public Health’s website, Twitter, Facebook and additional communication channels.
Where a health sector has been named, all frontline and patient-facing workers in that sector are included (e.g., custodial, security and reception staff). Where a non-health setting has been named, only workers providing a health service or direct patient care are included.
Non-regulated professionals as identified by the province who are frontline, patient-facing staff at community-based health care provider offices can register as ‘very high priority’ health care workers using the pre-registration portal. When contacted for appointment bookings, individuals will be informed of the requirement to bring an employee ID badge, pay stub or letter from their employer to confirm eligibility as a ‘very high priority’ health care worker on the day of vaccination.
Along with the online pre-registration portal, OPH will be reaching out to professional associations to expedite finding those who meet the “very high priority” category.
The vaccines for health care workers build on the province’s updated vaccination plan with expedited timelines. The anticipated improved timeliness of access to vaccines is due to the impending arrival of greater quantities of vaccine and the addition of Johnson and Johnson and AstraZenica vaccines being authorized for use in Canada. This updated plan will have a significant impact on Ottawa Public Health’s vaccine rollout plan over the coming weeks.
Virtual town hall for health care workers
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and The Ottawa Hospital will be hosting a virtual town hall for health care workers on Tuesday, March 9 from 6pm to 7pm. The event will be live streamed on Ottawa Public Health’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
Health care workers are encouraged to send their questions in advance to COVID19Vaccines@ottawa.ca. For additional information and future updates specific to health care workers, visit www.OttawaPublicHealth.ca/HCWvaccine.