‘No need to panic,’ Williams urges patience as Ontarians face lineups, lack of online bookings for second dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Published Thursday, June 17, 2021 5:05PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 17, 2021 5:05PM EDT
Ontario’s top doctor is urging people trying to obtain their second dose to be patient and says there is no need to panic as many are having difficulties securing an appointment online and encountering extremely long waits at vaccine pop-up clinics.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said eligible residents will be able to book an appointment for their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a week.
“I can assure you at the volume of vaccines that we are bringing in now you will get your second dose and I’m not talking a long way off, I’m talking days and maybe a week at the most,” he said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
As of Monday, the province expanded second dose booking eligibility to residents in seven public health units who received their first mRNA shot (Pfizer or Moderna) on or before May 9.
These hot spots were chosen based on their high prevalence of the highly-contagious Delta variant, which was first discovered in India.
Meanwhile, vaccine pop-up clinics across Toronto are also offering second doses of mRNA vaccines to eligible residents, resulting in scores of people lining up for hours in hopes of getting their second shot.
Williams acknowledged the frustration many residents are feeling as they scramble to get fully vaccinated against the deadly disease.
“So while I’m encouraged with the enthusiasm of people coming out and getting vaccinations I want to emphasize that because of the large volume of vaccines that we are receiving there is no panic to worry that you won’t get a second dose. We can assure you that you will get a second dose.”
On Thursday, provincial health officials confirmed that the province will be receiving a big boost in supply this month, particularly the Moderna vaccine.
Ontario expects to receive more than one million doses of Moderna this week, excluding what the province will receive out of the one million doses Canada is set to receive from the U.S. this week. Another two million Moderna doses are also expected to arrive in Ontario next week.
In addition, the province is set to receive over 900,000 doses of Pfizer every week in June.
As more vaccines come into the province, Williams said vaccination sites will see increased supply and that more appointments on the provincial booking site will open up soon.
“I’m not talking about weeks or months off, I’m talking about a few days. If you didn’t get a booking, be patient, try again. We want to make sure that we get your second dose to you as soon as possible.”
Starting on Wednesday, the province will expand second dose eligibility to three more Delta variant hot spots (Hamilton, Simcoe-Muskoka and Durham Region) for those who received their first mRNA shot on or before May 30.
Adults in public health units not designated as Delta hot spots who received an mRNA shot on or before May 9 will also be eligible to book a second dose on Monday.