Toronto has asked the Ontario government to lower the eligible ages for a COVID-19 vaccine as the city’s clinic struggle to fill appointments.
The City of Toronto uses the province’s online portal for vaccine bookings, which is why they need the provincial government to agree to expand age ranges.
“We have the clinics, we have the appointments, we have the vaccine. It makes sense to move to different groups,” Mayor John Tory said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Appointments at Toronto’s clinics are tied to vaccine supply, so appointments only become available if there’s an accompanying dose for that time slot.
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Thousands of appointments for people born in 1951 or earlier are still available over Easter weekend at the City’s clinics. The five mass immunization clinics operate seven days a week from 11 am to 8 pm, and there are also dozens of smaller clinics.
City officials explained that they see a spike in bookings every time the province expands the eligible age range, but then demand tapers off after a couple weeks. That gives officials the hint they should expand the age range again.
Some health regions have created their own online booking systems that give them the freedom to lower age ranges on their own. But Toronto decided to go with the province’s platform because they’re working with dozens of clinics to vaccinate approximately three million people.