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Ottawa prepares to start vaccinating children against COVID-19 this week

Ottawa prepares to start vaccinating children against COVID-19 this week
Ottawa prepares to start vaccinating children against COVID-19 this week

OTTAWA-

As Ottawa Public Health prepares to vaccinate 77,000 children in Ottawa against COVID-19 on Friday, family doctors are waiting to see when they will get the shot.

The first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children arrived in Canada on Sunday, two days after Health Canada approved the modified version of the vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11.

“We will definitely be sitting behind the computer on Tuesday morning to take a picture as soon as possible,” said parent Alicia Robblee, who will make an appointment for seven-year-old Reid.

Medical director Dr. Vera Etches told CTV News Ottawa on Saturday that parents can make appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for their children starting Tuesday, with the first doses being administered Friday at community clinics.

The city will open seven mass vaccination clinics, 10 community vaccination centers and 73 after-school pop-up clinics to administer the vaccine to children.

Meanwhile, family doctors in Ottawa are pushing for information about when to get the COVID-19 vaccines, to protect children from the virus.

“Sent an email to Ottawa Health asking if we can get the COVID-19 vaccine in the office on Friday so our patients (children who pre-registered) can come to us,” Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth said on Twitter. “This will take the pressure off the system on Tuesday (when others log into the ON portal).”

Dr. Kaplan-Myrth tells CTV News Ottawa she has already started scheduling appointments for her young patients, but she doesn’t yet know when the doses will arrive.

“Again we are forgotten, again we are begging for the vaccine,” said Kaplan-Myrth.

“These are children who have come to us for all vaccinations since they were first vaccinated at two months of age.”

Kaplan-Myrth hopes that GPs will be vaccinated this week.

“Make sure it gets to my office midweek so I can vaccinate my patients as well,” Kaplan-Myrth said. “That takes the pressure off of public health and off of the other systems that are in place.”

Dr. Etches has said the COVID-19 vaccine for children will be available at some pharmacies and doctor’s offices in Ottawa.

According to Ottawa Public Health, a parent or guardian must be present when a child ages five to 11 receives the COVID-19 vaccine. Consent is required.

Parents and caregivers in Ottawa can book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination for children through the Ontario government website once the booking system opens.