Lengthy waits both online and over the telephone greeted Mississauga and Brampton residents over the age of 18 trying to book a vaccine appointment today.
May 3 was the beginning of the new provincial protocol that will allow all adults to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine if they live in a designated hotspot. However, all booking outlets were clogged as soon as the registration process began at 8 a.m. and the delays continue to be lengthy throughout the day, some have reported waiting more than two hours.
“I tried to register first thing in the morning by phone and got bumped off an hour later and had to start all over again,” said Brampton resident Fil Joshi. “I don’t think this is very good this process.”
Those who have been trying to register online through the provincial portal have also been met with a slow response. As of noon today, a person trying to register online had 131,905 people in front of them and were told that the wait time would be more than an hour.
The new protocol was announced just the day before by the Ontario government in an effort to meet the needs of Peel Region residents who have been hit hard by the pandemic. Most communities in Mississauga and Brampton are considered hotspots.
A spokesperson for the government acknowledged the registration delays, but insisted both the phone lines and website are functioning normally.
“We anticipated the demand and are prepared to handle it,” a statement from Queen’s Park said. “We are sorry that people have to wait but we ask they stay on the line and we will get to them.”
As well, despite the demand and recent history of shortages, the provincial government believes there will be enough vaccines available to fulfill all scheduled appointments.
Still, that was little comfort to Mississauga’s Rob Beaumark who said he has been “waiting for hours” to get through online and questioned the process.
“I know the government is under a lot of pressure to do this, but making everybody wait so long is frustrating,” he said. “I’m trying to work and stay online at the same time to register. I just hope my patience pays offer and I am able to get through.”
Beginning on Thursday, anyone age 50 and over will be eligible to book vaccine appointments at mass vaccinations sites even if they are not in a hotspot.
Youn can follow this link to the provincial vaccine registration site.