Toronto officially partners with crowdsourcing effort Vaccine Hunters Canada
The crowdsourced information from Vaccine Hunters Canada has proven to be, sadly, more helpful to citizens than actual governments have been when it comes to finding out how and where to get a COVID-19 shot in various provinces.
That could be the main reason that Ontario's largest city has decided to partner with the makers of the popular resource to help people in Toronto find out if and when they're eligible for a jab, and thus gain better access to the coveted immunization.
The City announced the new alliance on Wednesday, confirming that it will be encouraging the use of the tool, as well as providing the site with all relevant info about city-run vaccine clinics, such as locations, dates and qualified groups.
The #CityofTO announced today that it is partnering with @VaxHuntersCan to assist Toronto residents in identifying available appts at City-run immunization clinics. At the end of each day, the City will provide @VaxHuntersCan with clinic appt availability for the next day.— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) April 28, 2021
"The City is always eager to find innovative ways to ensure eligible Toronto residents can book a vaccine appointment as early as possible," the news release on the subject reads.
"Collaborating with Vaccine Hunters Canada is just one more way to assist residents in securing a vaccine appointment at City clinics for as early as the next day."
The municipality also lauded the volunteers at Vaccine Hunters for the immense amount of work they have done to help citizens nationwide navigate the vaccine rollout and different registration systems, which can be confusing, to say the least.
In Toronto especially, securing a shot has been compared to participating in the Hunger Games.
Residents will still have to book appointments at Toronto clinics through the Ontario booking system if they meet the criteria, which now includes not only frontline healthcare workers, Indigenous populations and the elderly, but also younger groups and those affected by a variety of health conditions.
Those aged 45-60 are now eligible, depending on which health unit you reside in and if you are in a hotspot, as are those 18+ in certain hotspot postal codes that are being serviced by new mobile pop-up clinics, which are first-come, first-served and not providing advance appointment times.
The lineups at these sites have unfortunately been excuciatingly long as the province continues to deal with enthusiastic demand but meagre supply.
Wakin up to hear the news that the government is partnering with a Twitter account called Vaccine Hunters and not paying them but just expecting them to help mitigate a health crisis, this rules— Sarah Hagi (@KindaHagi) April 28, 2021
While select locations are dealing with supply issues, others still have appointment and walk-in slots available — all information that Vaccine Hunters shares on its Twitter and website.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is also advocating that the age threshold for the AZ shot be lowered to 30 and over, while some pharmacies may begin offering Pfizer doses as well, as part of a new pilot.
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