City of Toronto adds more vaccine appointments after booking up until June
After grappling with Ontario's frustratingly slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout for months, more and more people are finally being granted access to the coveted jab at a quicker rate than initially planned, with all adults provincewide slated to be able to book through the central online portal starting May 24 and those in hot spots already eligible.
But the sudden expansion of the program has brought, somewhat expectedly, a bit of a backlog, especially in the province's most populous urban centre.
Earlier this week, residents were citing online waitlists of hundreds of thousands of people trying to book an inoculation in Toronto on the first day that those 18+ in hot spots were able to through the province or Toronto Public Health.
And by Friday, almost all time slots for the next month at City-run mass clinics were already taken.
Every appointment we offer at City-run clinics is based on the quantity of vaccines we are scheduled to receive – that's to avoid having to cancel appointments.— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 5, 2021
Almost every appointment has been booked over the coming weeks. pic.twitter.com/xDopgEiMwW
Mayor John Tory revealed at a press conference on Wednesday that every city-run immunization site had either already reached capacity or was extremely close to reaching it for the remainder of the month of May, but that 60,000 more appointments were being made available Thursday for the new groups that would qualify.
As of May 6, any Torontonians 50+ or who qualify as select essential workers who can't work from home can book through the city's system, alongside those who already qualify.
By late morning that day, this new spate of people meant that City clinics were fully booked or "close to" until June 6, with those 60,000 new appointment spots landing between June 7 and 13.
Thankfully, late on Friday, the City was also able to add another 17,000 slots for the coming week.
Based on current supply, all City clinics are fully booked or close to from today until June 6. 60,000 appointments for City-operated clinics between June 7 and 13 are open in the provincial booking system as of today.— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) May 6, 2021
Pop-up clinics in various neighbourhoods will hopefully help supplement demand — residents can discover where and when these are through resources like Vaccine Hunters Canada, which recently partnered with the City to disseminate such crucial information.
Some pharmacies in other parts of the province are also offering Moderna shots to anyone 18+ who lives in a hot spot as of today, with a plan for the program to extend to more pharmacies, including potentially in Toronto, ASAP.
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