Online booking system now live

The provincial COVID-19 vaccine registration portal is now open. Individuals who will be turning 80 or older in 2021 (born in 1941 or earlier) and wish to make an appointment — or an individual trusted to make an appointment on their behalf — may now book an appointment either online at Ontario.ca/bookvaccine or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488.

Appointments at Niagara Region Public Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics during March and the first half of April are now available. Public Health clinics will rotate to different communities at a frequency that mirrors the size of the 80-year-old-and-older population in those communities. Residents can book an appointment at any clinic across Niagara, and can bring an essential caregiver with them to their appointment.

To book an appointment, individuals will need to have a green photo health (OHIP) card as both numbers on the front and back of the card are required. Expired cards will be accepted. Individuals who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, may call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488.

Eagerness for vaccines will likely grow over the coming weeks and months, and Niagara Region Public Health asks for patience, as wait times are anticipated for the provincial registration portal, both online and by phone.

“For one year, we’ve been anxiously awaiting a vaccination campaign that could tame this pandemic,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Medical Officer of Health (acting), Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services, via an NRPH statement released Monday.

“With the launch of Ontario’s vaccination registration system, that campaign has arrived in earnest with anyone 80 years of age or older now eligible to register. While being patient in case of any hiccups, I encourage everyone eligible to register for their vaccine soon so that we can move on to opening bookings for the next age group. As well, I remind everyone, vaccinated or not, that we need to keep up our other efforts, because COVID-19 is unfortunately on the rise once again— for just a couple more months, let’s stay home as much as possible, keep our distance when we do go out, and continue wearing our face coverings and washing our hands.”

Once an appointment is booked, on the day of their appointment residents will need their booking confirmation number or QR code from the provincial booking portal, their health card, a mask, and should wear a loose-fitting top or t-shirt.

Public Health asks that residents arrive no more than five minutes prior to the appointment time. If residents arrive early, Public Health asks that they wait in their car until five minutes prior to their appointment time.