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York Region delays COVID-19 vaccine rollout by 2 days to switch booking systems

You have to wait until Friday, June 25 to book a second dose if you received your first Pfizer or Moderna dose before May 31
June 23, 2021
Debora Kelly

York Region is delaying its COVID-19 vaccine rollout of more second doses by two days as it switches to a new booking system this week.

While the province has expanded eligibility of second dose appointment to individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 30 as of Wednesday, June 23, the appointments won't open until Friday, June 25 in York Region, according to regional spokesperson Patrick Casey.

"While the province has announced the availability, York Region will delay the release for two days in order to move to a new booking platform which will offer an improved customer experience," Casey said.

Since York Region's early launch of the vaccine rollout last March, which required the region to devise its own booking system ahead of the province, many residents have raised concerns about the difficulty and confusion in booking -- and now cancelling -- appointments at local clinics.

Beginning Friday, June 25 at 8 a.m., individuals who live, work or go to school in York Region who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine on or before May 30 can book a second dose appointment through one of York Region’s vaccine clinics, he added.

The later date is not linked to the three-day delay of the province's Pfizer vaccine shipment this week.

While Casey said the shipment delay isn't expected to impact the region's distribution, plans are in place should supply run low or out.

"These plans include working to reallocate Pfizer where needed and administering Moderna to individuals 18 years or older who have an appointment booked for their first dose," he said.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has stated the mRNA vaccines are interchangeable, and that both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are over 90 per cent effective at preventing serious illness and death due to COVID-19.

Vaccine types currently being offered at each clinic are listed on the York Region COVID-19 website.

"Vaccine clinic staff will ensure individuals being immunized are aware of which vaccine they will be receiving, however, there will be no opportunity for individuals to request or switch to a particular vaccine brand," Casey said.

Meanwhile, expanded eligibility for second doses in delta variant hotspot regions saw 27,000 new appointments booked in 1-1/2 hours when they were released Monday morning to individuals who live, work or attend school in York Region and who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna before May 10.

As of yesterday, more than 1 million vaccine doses have been administered in York Region, including: