By: Laura Steiner
Ontario will launch its provincial booking system for COVID-19 vaccines March 15, at 8:00 a.m. The process will be an online portal where residents 80 years of age and older living in the community to book their first appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“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,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said. The appointments will only be open to those born in 1941 or earlier.
Residents will be able to book appointments through the provincial website, or their local Public Health Unit (PHU) if they’re accepting bookings. Residents will be asked for information on their green health cards as part of the process such as birth date, postal code and email address or phone number. They’re being asked to book two appointments at the same time. If they have the red & white cards, or need assistance booking, a provincial hotline has been set-up at: 1-888-999-6488. All PHU’s are expected to transition over to the provincial system.
“We know everyone is eager to receive the vaccine, and as we continue to build capacity we are making it easier and more convenient for individuals to book and receive the vaccine as quickly as possible,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said. Halton Region’s Public Health Unit has begun booking vaccine appointments, and has opened some clinics.
This will complete phase one of the province’s vaccine rollout plan. “The portal and customer support number will prove instrumental through Phase 2 as we open mass vaccination sites and inoculate more Ontarians,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said. Phase two will focus on vaccinating populations based on age and risk. Milton’s mass vaccination site will be at the FirstOntario Centre for the Arts at 1010 Main St. East, Milton.
“There is now a fulsome range of options for the people of Ontario to book an appointment and receive their vaccine,” General (Ret’d) Rick Hillier said. He went to caution Ontarians to only book appointments when it’s their turn.
Ontario recorded an increase of 1,747 cases of COVID-19 over yesterday, with 1,167 resolved. Experts believe that the increase in cases is fueled by the more contagious variants. “There are now two pandemics playing out, one with the early variants under control, and one with new variants not under control,” Dr. Adalsteinn Brown told reporters Thursday. Brown is co-chair of the COVID-19 science advisory table.
As of Sunday, Halton recorded an increase of 43 cases. 12 of those are in Milton. 59 cases of COVID19 have been screened as positive for variants.
By: Laura Steiner