Who is eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations and where Algoma is at in the distribution plan


As the province moves into Phase 2 of the vaccination distribution plan, where are we at here in the Algoma District?

Today the province headed into Phase 2 of Ontario’s Vaccine Distribution Plan, announcing that residents 75+ were now eligible to start booking COVID-19 immunization appointments. This has created some confusion when it comes to residents here in Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District, which prompted SaultOnline to reach out to Algoma Public Health for some clarification.

“Not all public health units are using the provincial booking system. At this time, anyone using the provincial portal to book an appointment, who has an Algoma postal code, will be directed to APH’s website to complete their booking.”, stated Dr. Loo, Medical Officer of Health at Algoma Public Health.

Instructions to book appointments for COVID-19 immunization on APH’s website are specific to each of the multiple clinic sites across the Algoma District including the Community Vaccination Hub at the GFL Memorial Gardens. Algoma residents should follow the instructions on APH’s website to book their appointments for the specific clinic site they wish to attend.

“These appointment booking systems were put in place in advance of the launch of the provincial system, in order to support the needs of local Algoma clinics and residents.  As we learn more about the functionality of the provincial system, APH will work with Algoma partners to transition to the province’s booking system, where appropriate.”, further stated Dr. Loo.

Dr. Loo went on to explain that currently appointments for adults under 80 are not yet open for booking in the Algoma District. Once all Phase 1 priority groups in Algoma have been offered the opportunity for immunization, APH expects to make appointment booking available to adults 75+, a move expected later on this week. APH will release more information on additional eligible groups for immunization at that time.

To clarify, as of March 19, 2021, residents that meet the following eligibility are encouraged to book their appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Adults 80+ years old (born in 1941 or earlier)
  • All Indigenous adults, ages 55 and older and their immediate household (born in 1966 or earlier) (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) (complete list)
  • Staff and essential caregivers in retirement homes
  • Community-based highest priority healthcare workers (complete list) / very high priority healthcare workers (complete list) as identified in the Ministry of Health’s Guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization
  • Adult recipients of chronic home care
  • Faith leaders who provide:
    • End of life care
    • Care of the deceased, funerals, bathing, or other ceremony with direct contact with deceased persons
    • Home visits to unwell persons
    • Pastoral care in hospitals/long-term care homes/retirement homes or other vulnerable settings.

Walk-ins appointments are not available. Do not go directly to a vaccination clinic without a confirmed appointment as you will not receive a vaccination without an appointment.

  • 75+ is not yet open for booking – as soon as all Phase 1 priority groups have been offered the opportunity to immunize, appointments will be made available to next priority groups, including adults 75+
  • Only call if you are currently eligible to receive your vaccination
  • Please follow the instructions at the clinic nearest you
  • Proof of eligibility will be required when booking your appointment and when attending the clinic (i.e. government-issued ID, employee ID, status card, Métis citizenship card, beneficiary card or self-identification)

If you have questions specifically related to the vaccine itself you can call Ontario’s Vaccine Information phone line: 1-888-999-6488

You can follow APH’s Immunization Tracker which provides regular up-to-date information on Algoma’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout.


  1. I would like to see an APH vaccine clinic GFL set aside for all age priority residents that have not been able to access any available appts through current booking protocols.
    It seems to be a common complaint that our 70/ 80 yrs of age group is being left out through no fault of their own due to difficulty navigating appt booking systems.
    The current clinic bookings were made available to age 60+ and we have so many age priority residents much older that haven’t received vaccines. Please let’s help accommodate our elderly.

  2. The appointment lines are always busy and the online
    Appointments are filled within an hour.Why aren’t there
    More phones .It is very frustrating to call,redial etc for hours
    Then they close at 4pm.And still you can not get through.
    Then everything is filled then you have to wait until
    The next clinic with even more people trying to.o book

  3. What I would like to know is why the vaccine clinic in the Sault is only open on the 27th and 28th and what the vaccine allotment from the province is. There are only approx 114,000 people in Algoma and it doesn’t seem like that would present any complex problems to get the vaccines into peoples arms in a timely matter. If they are waiting for people over 80 to book their appointments how long are they going to wait before opening up for the next age group? A week? 10 days? a month? 2 months? Are they holding back the second dose and stockpiling or are they concentrating on getting the most number of people vaccinated with a single dose. I think that they could be more informative about what and how they are doing with the vaccinations.

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