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80-plus seniors can book a vaccination online tomorrow

 

80-plus seniors can book a vaccination online tomorrow

John Best

The Ontario government is launching a provincial booking system and customer service desk to support COVID-19 vaccination appointment bookings. The portal will be live on Monday, March 15 at 8:00 a.m. and will be accepting appointment bookings at mass immunization clinics, starting with individuals aged 80 and older. At a news conference today Retired General Rick Hillier said the booking portal has 800,000 available appointments and the call centre has 2200 operators that can take 10,000 calls per hour.

75 years and up in April

Said Premier Doug Ford. “In this phase of our plan we are still offering vaccines to our most vulnerable, so I encourage everyone aged 80 and older to use the portal to book an appointment. For everyone else, please be patient, as we get more supply, the vaccine will be offered to more people.” Hillier told reporters “somewhere early in April, we will be calling forward 75-year olds and upwards. Faster if we get more vaccine.” Ontario will have more than 100 mass vaccination clinics by the end of the week.

Have your Health Card ready

Beginning tomorrow, individuals who will be turning 80 or older in 2021 (born in 1941 or earlier) and wish to make an appointment — or an individual trusted to make an appointment on their behalf — can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine. On this page, they will be guided to make an appointment through the provincial booking system, or their local public health unit if there is a local public health unit booking system or call centre in place. When booking an appointment, individuals will be asked for information from their green Ontario health card, birth date, postal code and email address and/or phone number. At the time of booking, eligible individuals will schedule their first and second vaccination appointments.

Individuals who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488 beginning on Monday, March 15. 

At this time, vaccination appointments are only available for individuals turning 80 or older in 2021 as part of Phase One of Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan. Starting in April, the online booking tool and call centre will extend to additional age-based groups that are part of Phase Two.

Phase One of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is nearing completion, and the Ontario government is preparing to move into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan next month, with a focus on vaccinating populations based on age and risk.

“The introduction of these booking systems puts in place the final piece in the province’s infrastructure to rollout its vaccination program,” said General (Ret’d) Rick Hillier. “There is now a fulsome range of options for the people of Ontario to book an appointment and receive their vaccine, but please only use them if and when it is your turn.”

Quick Facts

For individuals turning 80 or older in 2021 who do not have internet access, please call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488, open Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Eligible individuals can visit the provincial booking system to find out how they can schedule their vaccine appointments, or check the website of their local public health unit.

To book an appointment, individuals will need to have a green photo health (OHIP) card as both numbers on the front and back of the card are required. Expired cards will be accepted. The provincial booking system will direct individuals without a health card to their public health unit for identity validation, and will provide contact information.

To support the administration of the vaccine, 255 vaccination sites across the province are planned for March, including 153 mass immunization clinics.

A pilot for pharmacy vaccine administration began on March 12 in select regions, including Toronto, Windsor and the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington region. To book an appointment, eligible Ontarians aged 60-64 can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy.

Vaccinations in primary care settings and community locations, such as physician offices, began in Hamilton, Toronto, Guelph, Peterborough, Simcoe-Muskoka, and Peel as of Saturday, March 13, 2021. Primary care providers will not be taking appointments by request, but will be contacting eligible Ontarians aged 60-64 directly to book an appointment starting March 10, 2021. They will only be offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine at this time.

To date, over 1.1 million vaccine doses have been administered across the province, including over 127,000 doses administered to long-term care home residents. Over 285,000 Ontarians are fully immunized, including over 60,000 long-term care home residents. Ontario is leading the country in the total number of vaccines administered and has fully immunized more individuals than all provinces and territories combined.

For the month of March, Ontario is expecting to receive 870,480 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 483,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Ontario has also received 194,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine the week of March 8.

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