With five weeks of H1N1 vaccine clinics slated to begin at the end of the month, what Ottawa Public Health describes as one of the largest undertakings in the Ottawa’s history will disrupt, and in some cases, completely suspend some of the city’s programs.
“The impact on programming is going to be very significant,” said medical officer of health Dr. Isra Levy. But the mass immunization is “a massive undertaking,” he said.
By the end of October, the city will be ready to run clinics for a minimum of five weeks, seven days a week, in order to vaccinate up to 40 per cent of the population, said Levy.
The city has confirmed seven mass H1N1 vaccination sites, located at the John G. Mlacak Centre, Tom Brown Arena, the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, 100 Constellation Cres., the Walter Baker Sports Centre, Fred Barrett Arena and the Jim Durrell Centre.
While some city programs — including nutritional programs — will be suspended for several
weeks, others — physical activity, prenatal health and seniors’ programs — will come to “a virtual standstill” for six weeks or longer.
“There is no doubt that there is going to be community disruption,” said community and protective services chair Diane Deans. “But there is no doubt that the preventing of the second wave of the H1N1 pandemic in this community is a priority and we have to implore the public to be patient as we work through this.”
Members of the public who are unable to get to a clinic but want a vaccine can call 613-580-6744.