Ontario Premier Doug Ford says technicians are looking into any issues with the new provincial COVID-19 vaccination booking system.

Many residents have reported difficulties accessing the new online portal which launched this morning for residents over the age of 80, or receiving an error message saying their ‘form had been tampered with.’

Ford says many of these issues have been user-error, and Ontario only has 2,200 staff to work the phone lines for over 15 million Ontario residents who are handling about 375 calls per minute.

“So far this morning, 45,000 people were able to figure it out. It’s pretty user-friendly. We have some of the largest companies backing this up. But I will follow-up on these issues. When you have a couple of million people going on at once… we’ll iron it out immediately and improve on all fronts.”

Ford is asking everyone who doesn’t yet qualify for the vaccine to stay off of the website to help it remain stable, and anyone experiencing difficulties is asked to call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 for assistance.

The online booking system is expected to expand next month to add additional age-based groups that are part of Phase two of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution framework.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that every Canadian who wants to get vaccinated will be able to by the end of September 2021. Only those 18 or above are able to receive a vaccine at this time.

“We have the capacity to give out 4.8 million vaccines per month," adds Ford. "Right now, we have the supply of 1.4 million doses. There’s a big gap. I’m begging the federal government to please get more vaccines to us. Everyone will have their chance to be vaccinated, but we’re prioritizing our most-vulnerable.”

Ford made his comments in Cobourg, where staff have finished construction on one of their mass vaccination sites. He noted and thanked Dr. Ian Gemmill for his efforts in the Cobourg area for joining the Cobourg Public Health Unit midway through the pandemic last year, after the return of Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kit Young Hoon, with the Northwestern Health Unit.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is asked to get tested and self-isolate immediately, and to stay in isolation until your test results are known.

For more information:
Mass vaccinations to begin on March 22 in NWO