July 14

Special Statement from Dr. Brent Moloughney

This week, we reached another milestone in Ottawa – 60 per cent of people 18 and older have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is encouraging news Ottawa, let’s keep up the momentum. There are plenty of appointments for second doses.  If you haven’t moved up your second dose, don’t delay, please do so today. Let’s make this a two-dose summer for as many Ottawans as possible.

I’m hearing that there are still questions about using mRNA vaccines interchangeably – that is, receiving a different vaccine for your second dose than the one you received for your first dose. For example, receiving Moderna as a second dose after a first dose of Pfizer, or vice versa. I want to reassure you, interchanging vaccines is safe and effective and is not a new practice. Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are used when vaccine supply or public health programs change.  

For example, different vaccine products have been used to complete a vaccine series for influenza, hepatitis A, and others.  Moderna and Pfizer remain interchangeable. For those aged 12-17, we solely give Pfizer for both doses. Receiving two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible is necessary to be fully protected against COVID.  

I also call upon parents, caregivers, youth and young adults – please spread the word to youth aged 12 and older and young adults. It’s easier than ever for anyone in Ottawa to get their first dose if they haven’t already. Anyone who still requires their first dose can walk-in at an Ottawa vaccine clinic to get their shot – no appointment necessary. 

If you have questions about the vaccine, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s website; there’s a lot of great information there, or you can contact your health care provider or OPH to speak with a public health nurse by calling 613-580-6744.  

This Friday, Ottawa along with the rest of Ontario, will move to Step 3 of the Province’s reopening plan. In Step 3, we’ll see a further easing of restrictions. Larger gatherings will be permitted, and   indoor dining and indoor fitness facilities will reopen their doors. Our community has worked hard to reach this next step and I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has rolled up their sleeve to get vaccinated. Your efforts are making a difference in our community.   

While we are making significant progress, we need to stay ahead of the virus as we go into the fall. We will continue to monitor the impact of each step we take which might give COVID-19 more opportunity to spread. We know the Delta variant is more transmissible and is giving rise to resurgences in other countries despite high levels of immunization. Ottawa Public Health will keep an eye on hospitalizations as a key measure of whether the virus is reaching more vulnerable populations.

The actions people continue to take (wearing masks indoors and in crowded spaces, practising physical distancing, limiting close contacts and getting two doses of COVID-19 vaccine) are enabling us to keep COVID-19 levels at a bay. Each day, we are moving one step closer toward community immunity. Let’s stay the course, Ottawa.

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