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Kingston struggles to meet vaccine demand amid new eligibility

KFL&A Public Health were fielding dozens of questions on Tuesday morning as individuals between 18 and 39 became eligible for vaccinations.

“Eligibility has outpaced supply and we simply do not have enough vaccines to keep up with demand,” said Suzette Taggart, communications manager for KF&A Public Health. All vaccines were booked shortly after the 8:00AM rollout on Tuesday morning.

Within minutes of the provincial booking system going live, KFL&A Public Health servers were also overwhelmed. KFL&A Public Health servers crashed at around 8:12AM.

While KFL&A Public Health’s phone lines were available to book vaccine appointments, the local number became overwhelmed. Within minutes, the booking phone line said “all circuits full,” and proceeded to disconnect the call.

Meanwhile, Kingston residents struggled to book appointments on the provincial booking platform. Some residents reported waiting 40 minutes on the provinces booking website, only to find that no appointments were available to be booked in the Kingston area.

“Has anyone been able to book a vaccine this morning? Steve is trying to book – closest option that comes up is Napanee, then when he chooses it none of the dates on the calendar are available,” one Twitter user said. “Nothing. Waited 49 mins (which I guess was relatively short) for nothing,” said another.

Local pharmacies are also struggling to meet the demand of individuals looking to book at vaccine appointment. YGK News reach out to 10 pharmacies in the area. All of them explained that there were no vaccines available and encouraged residents to sign up for a wait list.

Some pharmacies are now placing signs in front of their stores to remind people that they do not have any vaccines available.

There are some windows of opportunity for individuals who are having trouble booking a vaccine. Some of these include cancelled appointments. “There will be a few openings that come from cancellations; however, not enough to handle the current demand,” said Taggart. “I am hearing that fully booked clinics are the situation across the province, with the exception of the GTA.”

At around 2:50PM, 1500 residents were given the opportunity to book their first vaccine doses. The bookings were live for 2 hours, and consistently had 700 people in its waiting queue. Many celebrated when they announced that they finally had their vaccines booked.

A queue of 700+ could be seen on KFL&A’s booking website well over an after the appointments went live
The Memorial Centre suddenly became available for vaccinations on Tuesday afternoon

For those who have not yet received their vaccines, KFL&A Public Health says that there are a few more options.

“For no shows at the mass immunization clinics, we have a daily standby list for community residents who have not received their first dose and are available at a moment’s notice to get to a clinic,” Taggart added. All standby lists are reset every day at midnight.

As for the rollout of the rest of the vaccines, KFL&A’s strategy will continue to include mass immunization clines, mobile clinics, primary care clinics and pharmacy clinics. Up to date information can be found on their webpage.

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