Ontario vaccine receipt website not working on first day of new passport system
Ontario's new vaccine passport program is now officially in effect, meaning that patrons need to download and show a specific certificate or receipt from the province's own booking portal to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and other "high risk" indoor settings for the foreseeable future.
The government has had more than three weeks to prepare for this launch, and yet — believe it or not — the aforementioned booking website (read: the place where you can actually download your vaccine passport) is experiencing technical difficulties.
The Ministry of Health's COVID-19 vaccination portal has, in fact, been down the entire time people have been mandated to show proof-of-vaccination documents at non-essential businesses (as in 10 hours and counting, as of 10 a.m.)
If you're surprised, you're in the minority.
Ontario’s vaccine passport website is down and other news that is completely predictable and not at all surprising— ashley grace (@yerkillingme) September 22, 2021
As they go online to download PDF copies of their own vaccine receipts from the government's website, Hundreds of Ontario residents are being greeted with a message that reads "Sorry, something went wrong."
"Sorry for the inconvenience. We're working on it," reads a message on the page that normally allows anyone to enter personal details for a copy of their vaccine passport document, which can then be kept on a phone or printed out on paper until a proper QR code-enabled app is released next month.
If Ontario has a vaccine passport but the site to access it is down, does that mean we're technically in lockdown?— 🍁James Schadenberg🍁 (@jameschadenberg) September 22, 2021
This isn't merely a site traffic overload issue, either: The system was actually scheduled to go down for maintenance between 11 p.m. on Tuesday night and 8 a.m. this morning — eight hours after the new rules came into effect at midnight on Sept. 22.
States the website:
"This system may be unavailable each week for maintenance from:
Sadly, the Ontario site to download the Vaccine Passport in under maintenance (until 8am). Good start, Guys 🤦♀️ pic.twitter.com/E2G3ajOuo8— MamaBear (@TenaciousTBP) September 22, 2021
As of nearly 10 a.m. however, the site has yet to come back online.
I’ll just pop on over to the ministry of health website to download my vaccine receipt annmnnnnd nope. pic.twitter.com/8SrMo8xBKj— 🏭🏘🏢Sean Galbraith🗻❄️💉 (@PlannerSean) September 22, 2021
People who hadn't yet had a chance to download their documents and need them to, say, meet a friend for lunch or hit the gym, are obviously frustrated...
@fordnation I see everything is going well in your basement. If you could at least get the vaccine website working while you reinvent the app world so I can leave my house that would be great. #Ontario #VaccinePassport pic.twitter.com/ORN6pJpPW7— Chief Fat Guy *MIGHT NOT EVEN VOTE*🇨🇦 🏳️🌈 (@chieffatguy) September 22, 2021
Though, given the Ford administration's previous technical challenges with projects including the Ontario Cannabis Store's website and those unreadable blue licence plates, some residents were expecting snafus.
Raise your hand if you're surprised that the Ontario government chose the morning the vaccine passport system starts to shut down the website used to access proof of vaccination for maintenance.— JSR I Stand With Israel, Trudeau and Teachers (@StandTeachers) September 22, 2021
The creation and rollout of a vaccine passport system itself was anything less than smooth. Some are pointing out that the portal issues are only the latest in a long-running saga.
Ontarians - ‘we need/want a vaccine passport’— Soon to be less Relevant (@i8theball) September 22, 2021
Doug Ford - ‘Folks!…..cookies!’
Ontarians - ‘No seriously get on it’
Doug Ford - ‘My friends, we have a new system!’
Ontarians ‘Nice! Wait, the site doesn’t work?!’@fordnation ‘my friendly folks…!!!’
Some users started reporting not long after 10 a.m. that they were getting through to the part of the website where receipts can be found, but that they are being forced to wait in digital queues of more than 100,000 people before downloading anything.
That's the waiting time to download the vaccination receipt PDF from @ONThealth website. How difficult is it to manage traffic when you are aware of the dates?— Pratyush (@pratyushj) September 22, 2021
Are we in stone age? @CP24 @NarcityCanada @blogTO pic.twitter.com/AjM5z99EAA
Others (hello!) can verify that, as of 10:30 a.m., the site is still displaying a message saying "Sorry, something went wrong."
Those who are having issues with the website can still use the emailed receipts they should have received at the time of their inoculation as proof to enter businesses, or call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-390 for help.
Good luck with the wait times there.
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