Ottawa Public Health and its partners target high-risk neighbourhoods with COVID-19 vaccine information

OTTAWA — A pop-up clinic in one of Ottawa’s three identified hot spot postal codes is now administering COVID-19 vaccines to residents age 50 and older.

Meantime, there’s also a push from Ottawa Public Health and its outreach partners to make sure residents of high-risk neighbourhoods are getting the message.

“This area as you can see, there’s a lot of subsidized housing and majority are large families,” said Farah Aw-Osman, executive director with the Centre for Resilience and Social Development.

“It doesn’t matter which ethnic group or which neighbourhood you live, everyone is paying the price.”

Fatigue is a sentiment many have been feeling for more than a year now and it’s something Aw-Osman said is more evident in Ottawa’s Heron Gate community.

This area in particular is dubbed one of the city’s high priority hot spots and with that designation, the city launched its pilot pop-up clinic for residents aged 50 and over to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Public health asked the location of the clinic not be widely promoted to ensure those most disproportionately affected by COVID-19 get appointments. However, officials did confirm on Friday it is in the K1V postal code – one of three in the capital the province has identified as hot spots.

On Friday, Ottawa’s general manager of emergency and protective services Anthony Di Monte stated a “hyper-focused” micro pop-up clinic would be held in Ledbury, Heron Gate and the Ridgemont area to reach a community that has been heavily affected by COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccine information in Ottawa

As the province continues to get shots into arms, organizations and people like Aw-Osman continue to go to local stores and places of worship to hand out flyers and posters, getting the message out to Somali and Arabic-speaking members of the community about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s a lot of myths out there about COVID, about the vaccination, also where to get access to test and the vaccination sites,” he said. “We have a moral responsibility to this community and get access to the service they need.”

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