Ottawa not getting its fair share of COVID-19 vaccine doses, mayor says

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Ottawa not getting its fair share of COVID-19 vaccine doses, mayor says


OTTAWA – Mayor Jim Watson is calling on the Ontario government to deliver 7% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in that province to Ottawa, saying the capital is running out of vaccines.
Ottawa city hall officials point out that Ottawa is not getting its fair share of vaccines, based on population.

Ottawa has about 7% of Ontario’s population, but received only 5.7% of the province’s overall vaccine supply.

“It’s clear from the statistics that Ottawa isn’t getting its fair share of doses,” Watson said Friday afternoon.

“I have raised this issue now with Minister (Lisa) MacLeod, and she is committed to reviewing the situation and finding an answer and hopefully a solution as quickly as possible.

Watson notes that Ottawa has not received any doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was distributed to pharmacies in Kingston, Toronto and Windsor-Essex.

“We want to ensure fairness across the province. While we recognize that Toronto is a hotspot, we have hotspots in the city of Ottawa, ”said the Mayor.

Of the 2.3 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines that arrived in Ottawa, 133,440 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were shipped to Ottawa.

On Monday, the city of Ottawa received 36,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The city expects to receive 44,000 doses next week, then 25,000 vaccines in the weeks of April 5 and 12.

The COVID-19 vaccine numbers do not include the AstraZeneca vaccine because Ottawa was not included in the pharmaceutical vaccine pilot.

Mayor Watson sent a letter to the Department of Health on Wednesday, asking Ottawa to be “urgently prioritized” to administer the COVID-19 vaccine through pharmacies.

“It just doesn’t make sense that an area like Kingston, which is in the yellow zone, has received vaccines for its doctors and pharmacies, and now we have people from Ottawa coming to Kingston and going. to Sharbot Lake to get vaccinated. , which is not good from a health point of view, ”Watson said. ”

“It is also an aspect of fairness. We have hundreds of pharmacies and pharmacists who are able and willing to give the doses to our citizens. So we’re asking the provincial government to go back and really look at the fairness aspect to make sure we’re getting seven percent of the doses, based on the population of our city. ”

The federal government distributes COVID-19 vaccines to provinces based on population.

Premier Doug Ford told reporters Mayor Watson is expected to come to Parliament Hill to ask for more vaccines, noting that the federal government is responsible for purchasing the doses.

“I ask all mayors, all regions, to start calling your federal deputies. Mr. Mayor, walk down the street to the Parliament Buildings and start knocking on doors. This is the root cause we don’t have enough vaccines from the federal government, ”said Ford.

“It’s a joke. ”

Ford adds that the province will now distribute COVID-19 doses per capita in the future.

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