Long wait times as Ontario expands third dose COVID-19 vaccine bookings

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Published December 20, 2021 at 11:54 am

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Ontarians have already booked more than 125,000 third dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments despite long virtual lineups.

The province expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine third dose booster shots on Monday, with anyone over the age of 18 able to book an appointment through the province’s vaccine portal.

People who received a second vaccine shot more than three months prior can now register for their third dose, and a spokesperson for Minister of Health said 10.5 million third shot doses have been made available in Ontario.

More than 125,000 appointments were booked as of 10:00 a.m. on Monday, but some social media users reported long wait times in the province’s virtual booking que with appointments being booked as far as a month away.

Others reported waiting in the virtual line only to be looped back to the portal’s landing page.

The number of new COVID-19 cases across Ontario more than doubled on Monday compared to numbers from a week ago as the Omicron variant of the virus continues to spread.

Data from the province showed a new case count of 3,784. Nearly 28 per cent of Monday’s new cases were reported in Toronto.

New COVID-19 restrictions and capacity limits for bars, restaurants and social gatherings came into effect on Sunday.

Bars and restaurants will have hours of operation reduced to 11:00 p.m., except for take-out and delivery. Alcohol service will be restricted after 10:00 p.m.

Social gathering will be capped at 10 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors.

No food or drinks will be served at sporting events, concert venues, theaters or cinemas, bingo halls and other gaming establishments. This includes horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and similar venues.

Premier Doug Ford announced the changes one day after experts said the number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario could hit 10,000 a day by January.

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