Web portal, service desk in the works for Ontario COVID-19 vaccine appointments


TORONTO — Ontario’s ministry of health says it’s developing a web portal for booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments and will have a customer service desk for those not comfortable using the online service.

The booking system will be part of the province’s vaccine rollout, which yesterday was updated to identify adults aged 80 and older, seniors in congregate care and Indigenous adults as next in line for a shot.

The province is currently vaccinating its highest-priority  groups, which include long-term care residents, nursing home staff and certain health-care workers.

Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, says the government’s prioritizing of older adults is a good sign, given that people over age 60 have made up the majority of COVID-19 deaths in Canada.

Stall notes that scheduling vaccinations with vulnerable populations can take time, and he says barriers like mobility challenges and access to technology must be taken into account.

Public health units are also planning neighbourhood mobile vaccination clinics, though the ministry notes that planning is dependent on vaccine supply.