Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Letter to Minister Elliott on Vaccine Booking Concerns

Published on March 24, 2021

MPP Harden wrote to Minister of Health Christine Elliott asking for the province's online vaccine booking portal to be fixed immediately. 

Click here to access the PDF version of the letter or read it below. 

Hon. Christine Elliott
Ministry of Health
5th Floor
777 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M7A 2J3

March 24, 2021

Dear Minister Elliott,

I am writing to express my concerns with the provincial COVID-19 vaccine booking system. Numerous technical failures are creating significant frustration for those 75 and over in Ottawa Centre and are posing a barrier to people getting their shots in a timely fashion.

Over the last few days, we have been inundated with messages from frustrated constituents who have faced significant difficulties trying to book appointments using the system. We have heard stories of people spending 5, 6 or even 7 hours trying to schedule their vaccines.

In addition, many are reporting technical issues with the online portal, including frequent time outs, error messages and other glitches. To make matters worse, some have reported a complete inability to book a second appointment. One constituent wrote to us about how the system simply froze on July 20, and did not present any possible times or options for a different day.

The province’s booking system is also causing delays at local clinics where the vaccine is being administered. In a memo to council, the Mayor of Ottawa wrote that some clinics are experiencing longer wait times because of errors with the booking system that caused double bookings.

Minister, this is more than a matter of inconvenience for people trying to use the system, it is impeding efforts to vaccinate seniors. Right now, almost 200,000 Ontarians aged 80 or over have not signed up to be immunized. It is vital that the online booking system is fixed so this number can be increased.

I look forward to your reply.

My very best,

[original signed]

Joel Harden
MPP for Ottawa Centre