As much of the rest of the world gets innoculated against COVID-19, it has been a little frustrating as an Ontarian knowing that many of us will have to wait some weeks to get access to the limited doses that the government has available.
While the U.S. has managed to expidite getting needles into the arms of its population, Ontario and Canada as a whole is lagging behind, and many are finding the rules around who can and cannot yet receive a shot and the logistics of going to get one a little confusing.
But Premier Doug Ford will be first to deny that the system is quite disorganized and difficult to understand.
“For the folks that find it confusing, I have to tell you that 2.8 million people [with appointments] didn’t find it confusing and 3.3 million that we had vaccinated didn’t find it confusing, so if I’m doing the math right, we’re well over 6 million people that didn’t find it confusing,” he responded to a question on the subject at a press conference Tuesday.
“Folks, it’s very, very simple.”
Up until very recently, immunizations were limited only to the oldest and most at-risk among us as part of phase 1 of the province’s rollout plan, which focused on long-term care residents, select healthcare workers, Indigenous adults, people over 80 and other groups.
Phase 2 of the rollout, which started this month, added residents with certain healthcare conditions to the list — such as those suffering from obesity, diagnosed mental health issues, or cancer — as well as younger demographics.
Those 55 and older can now get vaxxed at one of thousands of pharmacies, while those 50 and older who live in certain hotspot postal codes can schedule an appointment at a city clinic.
Then there are the recently-announced mobile vaccine clinics for anyone over 18 — with a focus on those who live or work in certain settings — in the province’s hardest-hit neighbourhoods.
These pop-ups are first-come, first-served and you cannot book an appointment in advance.
There also seems to be little warning regarding when and where they will be before they appear, but residents are being asked to check with their local public health unit for updates and further info.
Unfortunately, it seems the units were, like the rest of us, given very little notice that these clinics would be happening.
The system went from moving very sluggishly in recent months to seemingly quite quickly in just the last week 0r s0, and not at all in accordance with the province’s initial plan.
So yes, many are finding the process a little perplexing, and rightfully so, as proud as Ford and his team want to be of it.