Seniors line up at COVID-19 vaccination site in York Region, families express relief


RICHMOND HILL, Ont. — Dozens of seniors lined up outside a sports centre in Richmond Hill, Ont., to receive COVID-19 vaccines being administered to those 80 and older in York Region today.

Many leaned on walkers or sat in wheelchairs, bundled against the -8 C weather, as they waited their turn to enter the centre.

York Region allowed those 80 and older to start booking and receiving COVID-19 vaccinations yesterday and said available slots had quickly been filled.

Children and grandchildren accompanying their loved ones said they were frustrated with the long outdoor wait but were relieved the seniors in their lives were getting vaccinated against the virus.

Mitchell Cheung, who was with his grandmother, said his family was glad she would finally be getting some protection against COVID-19.

Michelle Stebbing was waiting in line for her parents as they stayed warm with her sister in a car parked nearby.

She said her parents were more fortunate than others because they had two children available to help them with the vaccination process.

The province is planning the broad launch of a vaccine booking portal on March 15, and aims to start doling out doses to the 80 and older cohort at that time but regions that have already inoculated the highest-priority groups are moving ahead with their own immunization plans.