ontario vaccine booking

People in Ontario complaining of bonkers online waitlists for booking a COVID vaccine

Residents of Ontario are celebrating today after signups for COVID vaccines through the province's online booking portal were finally expanded to anyone 18 and older in a hot spot locale.

Unfortunately, though the welcome news is another awesome advancement toward getting more of the population vaxxed after months of a snail's-pace immunization rollout, it appears that the online waiting lists to nab an appointment in some regions are even longer than the exasperating in-person lineups for pop-up clinics.

Before May 3, the notoriously busy and scantily-supplied pop-ups were the only way that those adults in hot spot postal codes who didn't qualify for a shot based on other provincial criteria — such as having a select high-risk health condition — could get one.

Now, these residents can book for a shot in advance at a mass clinic directly through the website of the province or their local public health unit, which is a move that was supposed to make things easier and get more needles into arms sooner.

But just minutes into being able to book this morning, users were reporting glitches, lags, random cancellations of appointment times and online wait times of hours thanks to virtual lineups that are hundreds of thousands of people long.

Multiple citizens have posted screenshots on social media showing that when they tried to secure a slot, there were well over a staggering 800,000 people likewise waiting to book in.

As such, those in Toronto especially are once again comparing getting a vaccine appointment to participating in the Hunger Games, buying a PS5 or securing coveted merchandise from an exclusive drop.

Many are also laughing at how difficult it still is to get a dose in Ontario so many months after they were first shipped in, especially compared to the U.S., which has now inoculated more than 100 million people as Canadians look on with just a tinge of jealousy.

Hopefully the increased and more predictable supply of vaccines that we've been promised starting this week will make the situation a little less dire.

Lead photo by

West Park Healthcare Centre

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