COVID-19 boosters now available to Ottawa Valley residents of all age groups.
Ottawa Valley residents who still need a COVID-19 vaccine booster can now make appointments through the Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU).
Following on from other regional health units, the RCDHU started the booster clinics this week and will continue until all local residents who request a booster have been vaccinated.
The RCDHU has classified the vaccination clinics into specific target groups based on their medical needs and history. Those immediately eligible to attend any of the clinics include:
- Persons 70 years and older
- Residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, retirement homes and individuals living in other congregational settings that provide assisted living and health services
- First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous family members aged 18 and over
- Moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 12 years and older
- Pregnant persons aged 18 years and older
- Healthcare providers aged 18 and over
The remaining Valley residents aged 18 and over will also be able to begin booking bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster appointments and will be able to attend clinics beginning the week of September 26..
From September 26, local pharmacies will also offer vaccinations in their specific locations. The pharmacies will dispense the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster if a person prefers an injection at these locations.
However, it is recommended that you call the pharmacy ahead of time as vaccine stocks vary and appointments may be required.
Anyone who has recently had a COVID-19 infection must wait 90 days from the date symptoms started or the date they tested positive for COVID-19 before receiving their bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster (and only if six months have passed since receiving their previous dose).
There is good news for parents of younger children who would like their children to receive a vaccine. Anyone six months and older is now eligible for a first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that all individuals, including children six months of age and older, wait at least eight weeks (56 days) between their first and second dose.
It is advised that all residents of the general population aged six months and older receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious diseases like COVID-19. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) currently recommends that children ages five and older can receive both COVID-19 vaccines and non-COVID-19 vaccines, including the flu vaccine, at the same time.
dr. Robert Cushman, the RCDHU’s acting medical officer of health, said that while it appears the worst of the pandemic is over, it is important to remain vigilant.
“Even if you’ve been vaccinated, it’s important to continue to follow public health measures to keep the community safe,” he said. “Stay home when sick, avoid contact with sick people, practice physical distancing (two meters), wear a mask/face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and wash your hands.”
He added that it is important to complete a daily COVID-19 self-assessment or the COVID-19 self-assessment tool for schools and childcare. before going to work, school, or daycare, to check for symptoms and proper counseling.
Since the pandemic began in February 2020, the RCDHU has registered 5,834 cases, 5,674 of which have been resolved. A total of 63 deaths have been recorded as a result of COVID-19.
The number of cases reported in the past week is 63, with four requiring hospitalization, thankfully none of the recent cases were transferred to an intensive care unit.
Those wishing to make an appointment online through the Provincial Vaccine Contact Center or by calling 1-833-943-3900.