Ontarians continue to flood the province’s booking portal, and line up outside pop-up clinics, in hopes of securing a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Toronto opened up 30,000 more appointments Wednesday morning for the Moderna vaccine, but many reported on social media that the appointments were quickly snatched up when the booking opened.
Eligible residents are able to book through the province’s online portal starting at 8 a.m. for slots at city-run mass vaccination clinics between June 22 and June 27.
Any adults who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9, or any adults who received AstraZeneca at least eight weeks ago, are eligible to book. Moderna is currently approved for anyone over 18, while youth aged 12 to 17 years old may only receive Pfizer.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved for mixed dosing.
Many Ontarians expressed frustration at their inability to book vaccinations on Monday after the province accelerated second doses in areas where the Delta variant is spreading.
The province had said people in seven regions who got their first dose on May 9 or earlier could book a second shot this week but spots were quickly filled. The expanded eligibility included a shorter interval for first dose AstraZeneca recipients – down to eight weeks from 12.
In a release, the City said as of Monday morning its clinics were 99 per cent booked “making the 30,000 additional Moderna appointments being added tomorrow even more important.”
“These additional appointments next week will help more people get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement. “We are making tremendous progress on getting residents vaccinated and we are determined for that progress to continue across the city so we can bring this pandemic to an end.”
Tory says even more supply is needed for the city to meet the demand in vaccines.
“At the moment in time we have not received the kind of supply that would make a material difference in meeting the demand we have out there,” said Tory.
There are similar calls in Peel Region for more community vaccination clinics with the Delta variant set to become the dominant strain.
Peel Public Health clinics are currently fully booked but residents are being encouraged to check back as more appointments become available.
Similarly, York Region said its second-dose spots were filled by 9 a.m. Monday and asked for patience.
Premier Doug Ford tweeted on Wednesday morning that the province had set a new record for daily vaccines administered by surpassing 200,000 for the first time.
Congratulations #TeamOntario on a new vaccine record: 202,984 shots in arms yesterday!
We’re accelerating second doses to offer maximum protection against variants. Every dose brings us one step closer to the things we’ve missed. pic.twitter.com/uCcusQxTn4
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) June 16, 2021
As of 8:00 p.m. Monday, 11,529,430 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario and 73.4 per cent of residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose, while 15.8 per cent of residents are now fully vaccinated.
Over two million Ontarians have now received both doses of the vaccine and the City of Toronto announced that 20 per cent of residents are now fully vaccinated.
Before Step 2 of the province’s reopening plan can begin on July 2, 70 per cent of Ontario adults need to have received at least one dose, and 20 per cent need to have received both doses. The province has already surpassed the first vaccination threshold and is on pace to reach 80 per cent by early July.
Based on current daily vaccinations, Ontario is on pace to meet the 20 per cent fully vaccinated threshold by the week of June 21.