By: Mike Anderson

Local seniors are frustrated and upset after not being able to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Georgina Ice Palace in Keswick, with vaccinations slated to begin on March 3.

According to York Region Public Health, the appointments, which are based on vaccine supply, were fully booked less than two hours after the website registration went live after 8 a.m. on March 1, leaving many local seniors in the lurch.

“York Region’s online booking for COVID-19 vaccination opened as planned at 8 a.m. this morning and within 90 minutes all appointments were fully booked,” Patrick Casey, the Region’s Director of Corporate Communications, said.

Mr. Casey said approximately 20,000 appointments were booked across all five current COVID-19 vaccination clinics on the first day of bookings.

There are around 45,000 residents aged 80 and over in York Region. This number does not include residents in LTC homes and retirement homes who have been vaccinated already.

According to Mr. Casey, appointments at the Georgina Ice Palace were for the next three days of this week.

“Resumption of bookings will occur as additional vaccine doses are made available or if bookings open up due to additional shipments, no-shows or ineligible individuals,” he said.

Mr. Casey said public health and its three hospital partners have been confirmed to receive 9,360 doses of Pfizer vaccine each week for the next two weeks, with each of the four partners sharing doses equally.

Mr. Casey would not confirm delivery of either the Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine at this time.

While Mayor Margaret Quirk, who lobbied for the early opening of the Georgina Ice Palace vaccine clinic, acknowledges there have been some issues with bookings, she’s confident they will be resolved.

“I would like to remind everyone that as this new process rolls out, we know there will be bumps along the way,” Mayor Quirk said.

“I ask that as additional dates and age groups are added, that you be patient. Your safety is at the forefront, and those who want a vaccine, will get one. Wednesday’s vaccination clinic booked up quickly, and as the supply of vaccines arrive, York Region Public Health will communicate the process and additional dates to the public.”

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