Skip to main content

Ontarians 18 and older can now book a COVID-19 vaccine booster through the provincial portal, as long as it has been at least three months since they had their second shot.Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

Ontarians 18 and older can now book a COVID-19 vaccine booster through the provincial portal, as long as it has been at least three months since they had their second shot.

But many social media users who logged in to reserve a spot Monday morning reported facing a virtual lineup of more than an hour.

COVID-19 live updates: Quebec will shut down bars, gyms and schools, limit restaurant hours as coronavirus case numbers soar

What we’ve learned about Omicron so far, including how severe illness from the variant appears to be

Others said the earliest appointments they could find were more than a month away, while others reported no available appointments in their region.

Roughly 15 minutes after the expanded eligibility officially took effect Monday, health officials in Ottawa said all available spots had been reserved.

“All COVID-19 vaccine booster dose appointments are now booked. We apologize for the inconvenience & are working hard to add more capacity and availability. Stay tuned for updates!” Ottawa Public Health tweeted, adding appointments may still be available through local pharmacies.

Niagara Region Public Health said Sunday night that all booster appointments for Monday and Tuesday had already been snapped up. The health unit said it would provide an update once more spots were added.

The province announced Wednesday that it was expanding eligibility in an effort to bolster defences against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Pharmacies were able to start offering the boosters to younger adults on Friday, but now Ontarians can make appointments through the province’s or a local public health unit’s website.

There are also new public health restrictions in effect in Ontario, in a move Premier Doug Ford said was designed to protect against Omicron while the population gets boosters.

As of Sunday, restaurants, retailers, gyms and other indoor settings will only be allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity.

Indoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people, while outdoor gatherings can only have 25.

Opinion: Omicron is discouraging but a strong response now may bring the end in sight

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 3,784 new COVID-19 cases today and no new deaths from the virus.

The new figures are based on 44,123 completed tests.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 865 of the new cases are in people who aren’t fully vaccinated and 138 people have an unknown vaccination status.

There are 164 patients in intensive care due to COVID-19, including 109 people on ventilators.

The province says 81 per cent of residents aged five and older have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 86 per cent have received both shots.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.