The Ontario government is set to launch its online COVID-19 vaccine booking portal on March 15th at 8am ET.
Residents who are 80 years of age or older will be eligible to book an appointment at ontario.ca/bookvaccine once the portal launches. A telephone booking system will also be launching alongside the online system.
Retired General Rick Hillier, the chair of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, said during a press conference on March 14th that there is the potential for delays and a possibility that the website may crash on Monday morning once the portal goes live.
To avoid a potential crash, the government is urging people who aren’t part of the priority age group to stay off the portal. He outlined that the portal has been tested and that the government is confident in the system.
Hillier stated that more than 800,000 appointments will be available once the portal launches. He also notes that the call centre will be capable of handling nearly 10,000 calls an hour.
The government has previously provided a proposed timeline for when residents in Ontario can start accessing the online booking system:
- Ages 80 and above: March 15th
- Ages 75 and above: April 15th
- Ages 70 and above: May 1st
- Ages 65 and above: June 1st
The proposed schedule will be in place as long as the supply of vaccines remains steady. It’s also worth noting that although the booking system is expected to open for eligible people during these windows, it will likely take some time to get an appointment reserved.
Ontario is behind other provinces in launching the online booking system, as residents in Alberta and Quebec are already able to book vaccine appointments online.