Ontario opens COVID-19 vaccine booking in 18 residents and older hot spot areas

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A firefighter helps people with their vaccinations and consent forms as they head into a clinic on April 5, 2021 at the Malvern Community and Recreation Center in Toronto.

Fred Lum / The Globe and Mail

Ontario is making good on its promise to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, opening the provincial booking portal for residents aged 18 and over today.

Adults living in 114 specific postal codes designated as hot spots are able to start appointments as of this morning, although some on social media reported long wait times or technical difficulties with the provincial booking website.

After the booking opened at 8 am, the site showed an estimated wait of over an hour with thousands of users queuing up.

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This week and beyond, the province will send half of its vaccine supplies to hot spots based on the recommendations of the government’s science advisors.

Adults in some hot-spot neighborhoods were already able to make a vaccine appointment, but not through the province’s online booking portal.

Eligibility increases further in Ontario on Thursday, when online bookings open to residents over 50 years of age.

People with high-risk health conditions and some people who cannot work from home will also become eligible.

Ontario has stated that it expects everyone over the age of 18 to be able to book the vaccine by the end of May.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Drs. Howard Nju says that more than 80 percent of Canadians over the age of 70 have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Njoo says it is higher than the flu vaccine and hopes it will help convince people of all the vaccines. Canadian Press

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