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York vaccine portal changes draw fire from volunteer group

The region's vaccine booking portal now requires online registrants to have an email address
April 8, 2021

Changes to York Region’s vaccination booking system has one volunteer group seeing pink.

PinkCars -- founded to help seniors navigate the region’s confusing and tech-requisite online vaccine portal -- told the Toronto Sun that recent changes have made it impossible to continue their work.

York vaccine portal changes draw fire from volunteer group
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“As of today, every person needs their own account and their own email address,” founder Shanta Sundarason said Wednesday. “A lot of thee people don’t have an email.”

The organization, she said, has successfully facilitated over 1,000 vaccine appointments since the beginning of March -- booking clients online by adding them as “family members” attached to the group’s vaccination portal account.

That all changed on Wednesday, when changes to York’s system came into effect requiring online bookings to be attached to a single email account.

Those without computer access must now endure long waits on the phone to secure an appointment.

York Region spokesperson Patrick Casey said in a statement that the family booking process was intended for individuals who reside at the same address, and not organizations aiming to add non-family members to the same account.

“This prevents each individual booked by the account holder (organization) from individually making any changes to their appointment,” the statement read, adding that privacy issues must also be taken into account.

He said the region’s current booking process is currently under review.