Technical issues with vaccine booking system solved, health ministry says
OTTAWA -- Ontario's Ministry of Health says technical issues with the newly-launched COVID-19 vaccination portal have been resolved.
- RELATED: Ottawa residents can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments using Ontario's online portal
- RELATED: How do I get the coronavirus vaccine in Ottawa?
The first issue came with people using the phone line.
There were several reports from people who called 1-888-999-6488 to book an appointment were being redirected back to Ottawa Public Health or the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), depending on where they were calling from.
Anthony Di Monte, Ottawa's emergency and protective services general manager and the head of Ottawa's vaccine task force, tells CTV News Ottawa that there was a mistake at the provincial level, which he says they were working to fix.
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the medical officer of health for the EOHU, told Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts" there was an issue regarding clinic information not being uploaded into the provincial portal. He said some other regional health units are reporting similar problems.
"We were prepared for having some issues and I'm hoping these are temporary growing pains that they're experiencing," he said.
Error message pops up online; 'You will get an appointment' Di Monte says
Late Monday morning, several users of the online system at http://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/ reported getting an error message saying "the form has been tampered with."
Speaking to Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron", Health Minister Christine Elliott said the error message was being dealt with.
"We don't consider that to be a major issue. The ministry is working on it now and we hope to have that dealt with very shortly because I know that people are anxious to book their vaccination times," she said.
Elliott could not say how many people encoutered the error online, but said that, overall, thousands of people had already booked their shots.
"The system is working. It's quite robust. We expected there would be a few little changes or tweaks that we would need to make with it but the system is working and we hope to have the issue with respect to the error booking dealt with quite soon."
In a statement Monday afternoon, the Ministry of Health said the problems had been fixed.
"The ministry had been informed that some individuals were receiving an error message during the booking process. This technical issue has now been resolved," the statement said. "We have had great success with our booking system to date. As of 3 p.m. today, more than 92,000 appointments for first and second doses have been booked since the provincial booking system was launched this morning."
Di Monte stressed that residents who are seeking vaccines should know that the appointments will be waiting for them, whenever they are able to book.
"I want to reassure them that we have the sites up and ready and we have enough vaccine," he told CTV News at Noon. "The number of appointments doesn't disappear. If you don't get on today, the vaccine is there. You'll be able to book an appointment and you'll be able to get a vaccine."
The vaccine clinic at the Nepean Sportsplex is open now. The city will open its clinic at the Ruddy Family YMCA-YWCA on Wednesday, March 17. Clinics at the Eva James Memorial Centre and Ottawa City Hall will be up and running by March 23.
"If you don't get on this afternoon and you only get on tomorrow, we have the vaccine. The four sites will be open. We have the capacity," Di Monte said. "If you get on, you'll get an appointment. Whether it's today, tomorrow, if you have an appointment, the vaccine will be there for you."