booster shot toronto

How to book a booster shot in Toronto when it seems no slots are available for months

Want to book a booster shot in Toronto? It's not as easy as it sounds.

As was to be expected, Ontario's vaccination portal was completely slammed as soon as it opened up to the 18-49 demographic, with people's fears of another Hunger Games type scenario coming to fruition as the public vied for time slots.

There are a number of ways to secure a jab, but residents should be forewarned that amid super high demand, many clinics are booking out weeks in advance at this point.

The Ontario booking system

The first and most obvious way to book is through the central booking system, for which there can sometimes be an online waitlist, though more slots are regularly being added.

Your best bet at this point is to wait until 8 a.m. in the morning as new appointments sometimes get released at the start of the day.

In fact, the City of Toronto has already announced that 14,000 new appointments will be made available over the New Year's weekend.

Once you get online, you will need to enter your health card number, birth date and postal code, you will be able to search appointment times at mass inoculation clinics near you.

If none are available, which is likely the case at present, some have come up with ways to fiddle with the system to try and find an opening.

Try switching the distance of your search multiple times so that the page refreshes — sometimes new appointments pop up during this process.

Many then suggest clicking "non-stop" on a slot if one appears, even if the system says it's no longer available, as sometimes you can get through anyways.

Pharmacies

An alternative to the main portal is booking at one of the select pharmacies or qualified healthcare providers, which you may be able to do online or by contacting the clinic directly.

Some are also taking walk-ins at this time. It may be worth stopping by your local pharmacy that you know is giving booster shots to see if they have a last minute opening.

Pop-up clinics

A third and final option is a pop-up vaccine clinic, though large lineups are definitely not uncommon, so bundle up and be prepared to wait.

Resources like Vaccine Hunters Canada or @torontovaccines are generally amazing at getting pop-up dates, times and locations posted ASAP, while the City of Toronto also has its own list.

These clinics do not require an appointment so you will be able to get a booster if you are prepared to wait in line, as long as the clinic doesn't run out of its limited supply of vaccines.

Regardless of how stressful the booking process can be, remember to stay calm and patient, and know that you'll get your spot eventually as the rollout continues.

Lead photo by

@THP_hospital


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