Ottawa Valley residents who still require a COVID-19 vaccine booster are now able to book appointments through the Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU).
Following the lead of other regional health units, the RCDHU began the booster clinics this week and will continue until all local residents who request a booster have been vaccinated.
The RCDHU has staged the vaccination clinics into specific target groups based on their medical needs and history. Those immediately eligible to attend one of the clinics include:
- Individuals 70 and over
- Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, elder care lodges and individuals living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services
- First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over
- Moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and over
- Pregnant individuals aged 18 and over
- Health care workers aged 18 and over
The remaining Valley residents 18 years of age and older will also be able to start booking bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster appointments and will be able to attend clinics starting the week of Sept. 26.
Beginning Sept. 26, local pharmacies will also offer vaccinations at their particular locations. The pharmacies will provide the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster if an individual prefers to receive an injection at these sites.
However, it is recommended that you call the pharmacy ahead of time as vaccine supply varies and appointments may be required.
Anyone who recently experienced a COVID-19 infection should wait 90 days following their symptom onset date or the date that they tested positive for COVID-19, before receiving their bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster (and only if six months has already passed since receiving their previous dose).
There is good news for parents of younger children who have been anxious to have their children receive a vaccine injection. Anyone six months of age and older is now eligible to receive a first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that all individuals, including children ages six months and older, wait at least eight weeks (56 days) between their first and second dose.
It is advised that all residents in the general population six months of age and older receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses like COVID-19. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) currently recommends that children five years of age and older can receive COVID-19 vaccines and non-COVID-19 vaccines, including the influenza vaccine, concurrently.
Dr. Robert Cushman, the acting medical officer of health of the RCDHU, said that although it may appear that the worst of the pandemic is over, it is important to remain vigilant.
“Even if you have been vaccinated, it is important to continue following public health measures to keep the community safe,” he said. “Stay home if you are sick, avoid contact with people who are ill, practice physical distancing (two metres), wear a mask/face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained and wash your hands.”
He added it is important to complete a COVID-19 self-assessment or the COVID-19 school and child care self assessment tool daily before going to work, school or daycare, to monitor for symptoms and proper guidance.
Since the pandemic began in February 2020, the RCDHU has recorded 5,834 cases with 5,674of those cases resolved. In all, 63 deaths have been recorded as a result of COVID-19.
The number of cases reported over the last week is 63, with four of those requiring hospitalization, luckily, none of the recent cases were transferred to an intensive care unit.
Those looking to book an appointment online via the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre or by calling 1-833-943-3900.