vaccine toronto

People are losing it over how impossible it is to book a vaccine in Toronto

Though the vaccine rollout in Ontario is finally picking up some steam after months of being limited to very few specific groups, residents are still finding it absolutely impossible to try and snag a coveted appointment to get a jab, or even get onto a waiting list for an appointment.

It seems to be especially difficult in the province's most populous city, where people have been likening scrambling for a time slot to taking part in the Hunger Games.

Eligibility parameters have finally opened up to include not just the elderly and immunicompromised, but any citizens as young as 40 at pharmacies, or even 18 in dozens of hotspot postal codes serviced by pop-up clinics that are new this month.

Unfortunately, the sudden acceleration of the program has meant a rush of those who have long been waiting for their demographic to be called as they watch citizens of all ages get easily immunized south of the border.

Younger age groups have been airing their frustrations online in recent days, citing wait times of multiple hours — sometimes over a dozen — to book a slot or even just join a registry for an appointment, only to find that all time slots had already been taken within minutes of becoming available.

Some are also citing captcha errors and other frustrating glitches in the system while they're clamoring to secure any sort of guarantee that they can, in fact, get a shot anytime soon as daily infection rates in the province remain high.

Just like Ontario's lockdown rules, many have found the process to book to be horrendously confusing in general, even before concerns about lack of available appointment times — now perhaps the biggest issue as relatively meagre and often-delayed shipments of needles become more accessible to more of the population.

While some wait a staggering 18 hours in a virtual lineup to get an appointment, others are waiting hours in physical lineups at mobile clinics, which are first-come, first-served and aren't taking advance bookings (if you can even figure out how to know if one is in your neighbourhood).

Others still are just trying to put themselves on any waiting list they are able to in lieu of being able to find an actual appointment.

While so many are at their wit's end, there are still people finding a bit of humour in the situation, drawing comparisons between finding out where you can even get a vaccine to finding the address of an after-hours club, or landing an appointment to purchase rare merchandise from exclusive drops.

Between the lack of spots and the speed with which they are claimed, the unclear criteria for vaccination and lack of information about how and where to get vaxxed, and the piecemeal sign-up system that has people jumping to multiple different websites of various hospitals, pharmacies and levels of government, people are understanably pretty exhausted by the whole ordeal.

But, at least they're not giving up, and are still eager to get the shot ASAP so we can try to get back to something closer to life as we knew it so many months ago.

Thus far, the Twitter account for Vaccine Hunters Canada has seemed to be the most reliable source of useful information on how to get a shot as the Government of Ontario website simply tells those 18 and over that "Ontario Health Teams and hospital mobile clinics and pop-ups to be communicated directly to the community."

Lead photo by

Premier of Ontario


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