Complaints of no local COVID-19 vaccine appointments

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – If you have had trouble finding a second dose appointment in Cornwall and SD&G you are in good company.

The latest rollout of accelerated second doses for those 70 years old and older, which was supposed to start at 8 a.m. this morning, is drawing a number of public complaints there are no local appointments available.

Ellen Boulerice told Cornwall Newswatch her daughter called the Ontario COVID-19 vaccine booking phone line first thing this morning as she falls into the category of those who received a first dose of Pfizer on or before April 18.

“She did manage to get through on the provincial booking line this morning and was once again told no vaccine, no appointments, and that she is obliged to wait for the EOHU to call her,” Boulerice said.

“I went on the provincial site today to book my 2nd shot and when I got through, it said that the available sites for my postal code were Casselman, Hawkesbury, Brockville, Ottawa, etc., but no available sites in Cornwall, not now, not July, not ever?” a Cornwall resident shared.

Another person shared with CNW the only local appointments they could get were for Orleans.

The problems weren’t limited to the Seaway Valley. People in Ottawa were frustrated with the system as appointments ran out shortly after the 8 a.m. opening, with the website directing people to Hawkesbury and Russell, CTV News reported.

The lack of appointments locally come despite assurances by the health unit it would be adding slots to give 120,000 to 130,000 second dose shots between now at the middle of August. But Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said Friday they only put appointments in the provincial booking system through the first week of July “because we have to do it a month at a time.”

An Eastern Ontario Health Unit spokesperson said they were “looking into the issue” but would have nothing more to add until Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis’ media briefing at 4:15 p.m. today.

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