Some residents in York Region can now book appointments for COVID-19 vaccines.
As of 8 a.m. Monday morning, residents over the age of 80 in the region are able to book an appointment by going to the York Region website.
By the end of the day, there were 20,000 appointments — and they were all booked in 90 minutes.
That’s 20,000 appointments in total, for all vaccination clinics in York Region.
Residents who are not comfortable booking an online appointment are encouraged to get a caregiver or family member to help book the appointment on their behalf.
Officials are stressing patience for anyone trying to book an appointment due to high volume to the site.
“We do expect that there will quite a demand, particularly on the initial day. We hope that you won’t have to wait [only] a few days in the meantime,” said Kurji.
An expanded list of health care workers are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in York Region including front-line workers in congregate and acute care settings.
Two appointment only clinics are set to open in the region this week:
- Richmond Green Sport Centre located in Richmond Hill, opens Monday
- Georgina Ice Palace located in Georgina, opens Wednesday
Three hospital led clinics are also open:
- Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital located in Vaughan, operated by Mackenzie Health
- Cornell Community Centre located in Markham, operated by Eastern York Region North Durham (EYRND) Ontario Health Team (OHT)
- Ray Twinney Recreation Complex located in Newmarket, operated by Southlake Regional Health Centre
York’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Karim Kurji, told 680 NEWS last week that vaccinations in the region will be strictly by appointment only and walk-ins will be turned away.
Kurji says that people need their OHIP card and must be a York resident to get on the long waiting list.
Officials are telling people to be patient with the website, saying it may work slower than usual due to volume.
“As more and more vaccines come, and they are coming – so please be calm and please proceed in an orderly way so that we can immunize the over-80 population who we consider to be at greater risk if they were to acquire COVID-19.”
Kurji says it will take about six weeks at most to get through the entire group of residents over 80 years old.
Peel Region has begun administering COVID-19 vaccines to adults 80 and over, as other regions prepare to allow the same age group to begin pre-registering for their vaccination appointments.
The province’s online booking portal won’t be ready until the week of March 15 though the website will reportedly begin a “soft launch” in six public health units this week.