Ontario expanded vaccine eligibility to everyone over the age of 18, leaving many scrambling to book appointments Tuesday morning. The province reports more than 183,000 vaccine appointments were booked within the first two hours of expanded eligibility starting at 8 a.m.
People 18 and older in hot spot communities have been eligible to book a vaccine since early May, but on Tuesday the province expanded eligibility to all adults.
The province announced the expanded eligibility on Monday, with 2.2 million doses set to arrive a week earlier than expected.
Individuals that are 17 turning 18 this year are also eligible, but they will only be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized by Health Canada for youth aged 12 and older.
Every time the province expanded eligibility, a surge in visitors to the site meant a waitlist to access the provincial booking portal.
As the website’s waitlist continued to grow and appointments filled up, many took to Twitter to describe their frustrations.
Just before 9 a.m., the waitlist had already grown to more than a million people waiting in a virtual lineup to access the booking site.
Some were forced to book appointments quite a distance from where they live while others had trouble getting a spot.
At around 10:30 a.m., Ottawa Public Health confirmed that there weren’t enough vaccines for all those trying to book.
Many voiced frustration with the challenges of Ontario’s vaccine booking process.
Some pointed out that people aged 30-39 who had been waiting for their turn now have to compete with all other eligible adults.
Despite difficulties booking, user Glitterbomber expressed satisfaction in having completed the process.
Ontario said the province is on track to vaccinate 65 per cent of adults by the end of the month.
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