OTTAWA – As the race to get Ottawa residents vaccinated continues over the weekend, a pop-up clinic has opened in the K1V area – one of three Ottawa zip codes identified as hotspots of COVID-19.
Rizwan Baksh, 53, was delighted to be vaccinated at the clinic in the basement of the Mosque of Mercy in Emerald Woods.
After all, it is his mosque.
“I normally come here for Ramadan,” said Baksh, who is currently fasting. “I was going down to the basement where they do the vaccines. We used to come there and break our fast and then we will have dinner after prayer.”
But he has not been at the mosque for more than a year since the start of the pandemic. That is to say until Saturday when he was to receive his COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s exciting to be there at least to get the vaccine again,” he said.
Because the K1V zip code has been recognized as a COVID-19 hotspot, residents aged 50 and older can register for a vaccine.
“I thought you know, I can wait because I’m in no rush to see anyone,” said Anne Stewart, who received her first injection on Saturday.
“My doctor encouraged me because of my age,” said Stewart, who is in her sixties. “So you know, I’m here.”
As for Baksh, an essential worker unable to work from home, he feels safer now that he has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The more people get the vaccine, the better it is for this hotspot to be out of the hotspot,” he said.
And that includes his family, who are also all essential workers.
“My wife works in retail, my daughter is a registered nurse, and my other daughter works in a retail store,” he said. “The whole house is essential, so I’m glad we all have our first injection.”