People in Ontario are worried that securing a booster shot will be like the Hunger Games
Under the threat of the Omicron variant, Ontario officials just today ramped up the COVID-19 booster shot program, making third doses available to all eligible residents 18 and over starting on Monday, December 20, way earlier than planned.
While many are relieved at the swift action given how quickly case numbers are spiking and how fast the variant is taking over as the dominant strain in the province, many are preparing themselves for yet another round of vaccine appointment Hunger Games.
So looks like I’ll be eligible for booster sooner as soon as Monday. Although… everyone else will be too.— Caitlin 🍁 (@CaitlinBellyria) December 15, 2021
The third Ontario Hunger Games is about to begin. Do what it takes to secure a shot… it’s always a nightmare.
Other jurisdictions can handle smooth booking
As people in urban centres like Toronto especially will recall, booking a first and second dose through the province's central booking portal was a frustrating mess of hours-long online wait times to match the ridiculous in-person lineups at pop-up clinics.
Every other time that the age bracket for doses has been expanded, it seems that many have been left scrambling for appointment slots, having to book many weeks in advance or then putting themselves on multiple waitlists for the hope to nab a spot (which just leads to further congestion for everyone).
The influx of people using the system has in the past also led to captcha errors and other frustrating glitches, which, along with the long and frantic hunt for one of the limited available appointments, people are already dreading.
A staged rollout like last year makes sense. But the Ontario gov't @fordnation is in a panic so they opened booster shots to anyone over 18. I was told there are no online appointments until mid-January due to the people >50 who registered this week. Vaccine Hunger Games.— Robert Kepes (@RobertGKepes) December 15, 2021
According to those who have booked or tried to book recently online, appointments for those 50 and older — one of the demographics currently already able to get a booster — are already few and far between, with many having to book well into January.
And that's before the millions that will be flooding the booking portal starting Monday.
Great, but there's not been a single available booking on the provincial site for the past 48hrs. This is going to go very well... Welcome to the booster shot hunger games, Ontario! https://t.co/GR5RM2UQjJ— Phil Taylor (@PhilTaylorBIZ) December 15, 2021
During his long-delayed press conference on the matter on Wednesday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford said that the province will be increasing its capacity to be able to administer 200,000-300,000 COVID immunizations per day, compared to the current rate of 40,000 or so, which should hopefully help the process.
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