Guelph parent dislikes lack of online booking portal

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health schedules COVID-19 vaccine appointments by phone for children under five – shots are given by primary care providers and some pharmacies

Not everyone agrees with plans to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine for the region’s youngest residents.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said the first shipment of the dose of Moderna for children six months to five years old arrived in the area on Wednesday, but their plans do not include an online booking option. for the parents.

Instead, the region’s public health is only taking reservations over the phone, with shots administered by primary care providers and some pharmacies.

“The logistics behind this age group differ from previous COVID-19 deployments, and your patience is appreciated,” public health said in a statement.

“We encourage you to contact your primary care provider to find out if they are considering administering the vaccine and/or if they are currently accepting names for a waitlist.”

The lack of an online option leaves at least one Guelph parent wanting more.

“It honestly looks worse than it did with the initial (adult) rollout,” Tiffany McGuire, a Guelph mother looking to book an appointment for her two-year-old son, told GuelphToday early Thursday. afternoon.

“At least we knew it would be like hunger gamestrying and fighting for a spot and queuing.”

His pediatrician is one of many still trying to figure things out with this latest deployment.

Dr. Barra Pediatrics in Guelph, posted on Instagram on Wednesday they were looking at the logistics of administering the COVID-19 vaccine for the age group and what steps to take to prepare, but weren’t yet sure it would be doable.

“If you would like your child to receive the COVID vaccine and you are able to register your child for the vaccine elsewhere, please do so,” the message read. “We have around 1,000 patients five and under and we won’t be able to get the vaccine to everyone all the time for the foreseeable future.”

They went on to say that they will have more information in the coming days about putting a child on the waitlist “IF we are able to get a supply and administer.”

McGuire was able to get an appointment in Cambridge next Saturday using the Waterloo Region Public Health online portal, but was later contacted by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, offering her an appointment for Friday.

“They said they had a limited supply for those who don’t have a family doctor,” she said.

But even with the appointment secured, McGuire hopes to see an online booking portal available to other parents in the area.

In Waterloo Region, they encourage families to contact their family doctor or pharmacy to make an appointment. But if that’s not available, public health is directing people to the provincial reservation system for regional clinics.

With these options, the possibility of making an appointment online in this catchment area remains a big sticking point.

“They said they were overwhelmed with the short notice of deployment, which I think is unacceptable as other regions like Waterloo and Halton have been able to offer online bookings,” McGuire said.

The online system also does not appear to be part of public health plans.

In a statement to GuelphToday, a spokesperson for WDG Public Health said there were several reasons for this.

“We’re talking about our younger kids,” Danny Williamson said. “We want them to be vaccinated in the best possible environment to make this experience as easy as possible. This is most often done through their primary care provider or a pharmacy. That’s why you’ll see many primary care providers and pharmacies will go online in the coming days and weeks to administer vaccines.We do not have the ability to register them through our system.

He added that for the limited places available in public health, the focus is on those who cannot be vaccinated elsewhere – whether because they do not have a primary care provider or need accommodations. specials – and “it’s more easily taken care of by phoning.”

Other aspects of deployment also frustrate parents.

“‘Contact your primary health care provider’ – who hasn’t heard from you and doesn’t know if they’re getting vaccinated. Do better,” Amy Fraser posted on Facebook.

As for the pharmacy option, public health has published an initial list of places administering vaccines on its website.

You can view the full list HERE. Public Health said it will be updated as new locations come online.

“You listed Chancellors Way Pharmacy and they don’t book appointments until you provide them with the vaccines,” Melanie Parlette-Stewart said on Facebook. “They said it could take about a week. It’s a little misleading to have them listed.”

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said the partners will launch their programs, they will help bridge the gap and are asking those with questions to call 519-822-2715 ext. 7006.

Comments are closed.