toronto vaccine booking

How to find a pharmacy that's still booking for COVID vaccines in Toronto

Booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Toronto has proven to be extremely difficult for those now eligible, with residents having to deal with a confusing mess of booking systems, lengthy online waiting lists and hours-long lineups in-person, and the prospect of getting turned away when clinics run out of supply.

Ontario has indeed ramped up its extremely sluggish rollout in recent days by adding pop-up locations where any adult can get a shot in certain hot spot postal codes and by opening some pharmacies up for round-the-clock innoculations.

But many pharmacies have now run out of vaccine supply or have completely booked up all available appointments. 

The booking and vaccine allocation is so confusing that many people have turned to crowdsourcing instead of official government communication channels to figure out where to go.

Those looking to get vaxxed have increasingly been aided by resources like Vaccine Hunters Canada, which shares the locations of pop-up clinics and pharmacies taking appointments and/or walk-ins across the country, and Alida's Vaccine Finder Toronto, which provides a list of places that people can go depending on their eligibility and location.

Based on postal code, birth year and other criteria, the latter tool will spit out a list of either pharmacies or hospital-run clinics with info on how to contact them and register for or book a slot.

For clinics run through hospital networks like UHN or CAMH, one can register online if they are a member of a priority group, and then await an email to set up an appointment.

For pharmacies still offering appointments, one can either try and call to book or join a waitlist online, if there is one available.

One pharmacist at a local Rexall told blogTO this week that the best thing to do is get on as many waitlists as you possibly can, but that their current stock of vaccines were already fully allocated to confirmed bookings.

As many as 1,409 pharmacies in the province and 171 in the city, including Rexalls and Shoppers Drug Marts, have been offering the AstraZeneca innoculation to adults 40 and older — an age that will soon be lowered to 30 — but many of them are now out of vaccine.

Signs posted outside pharmacies around the city now indicate when they're out of stock or are no longer accepting any bookings. The province's AstraZeneca stock is set to run out this week, after which some locations may begin offering the Pfizer vaccine.

For those unable to make a booking anywhere, the best bet might be one of the eleven Shoppers Drug Marts across Toronto that are running COVID immunizations 24/7, but those eligible will have to try their luck at waiting in line until the location runs out of doses.

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