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Quebec COVID-19 vaccination bookings offer long phone waits and limited spaces

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Quebecers trying to book vaccination appointments dealing with long phone waits,  fully booked days' Coronavirus: Quebecers trying to book vaccination appointments dealing with long phone waits, fully booked days
WATCH: Long phone waits and fully booked days are just a few of the challenges people trying to book their COVID-19 vaccinations are dealing with. – Mar 2, 2021

The second day of mass COVID-19 vaccinations in Montreal saw fewer lineups and shorter wait times than the first day, but those trying to make an appointment say there are still problems.

Dorval lawyer Phil Schneider said he has been trying to book an appointment for his vaccination for days. On Tuesday morning his daughter tried again to book online via the government’s website.  He said there was an opening — at first.

“She started typing and then suddenly it was no longer available after she completed the answers.”

Read more: ‘Calm before the storm’: Quebec pharmacies will start administering COVID-19 vaccines this month

Then, as a Global News reporter watched, Schneider tried his luck by calling again. The person who answered began by taking his personal information, but then informed him that up there were no slots available for March or April.

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“They should have spaces prepared in advance for March, April and May,” the 69-year-old insisted.  He turns 70 in ten days.

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“People finally have something positive going on and they would like to be able to get the injection, get the vaccine,” he told Global News.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Quebec’s health minister says they’ll tweak vaccination rollout “glitches”' Coronavirus: Quebec’s health minister says they’ll tweak vaccination rollout “glitches”
Coronavirus: Quebec’s health minister says they’ll tweak vaccination rollout “glitches” – Mar 2, 2021

According to health officials, they are still working out the kinks. They point out that the number of appointments made available depends on the number of vaccine shipments they get from the federal government.

“When they confirm the shipment then we open up more space for appointments,” said Francine Dupuis, West-Central Regional Health Board deputy chairperson and CEO.

Read more: Mass coronavirus vaccinations begin in Montreal with seniors as young as 70 allowed to register

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Provincial health minister Christian Dubé said the government might be able to open up some appointments soon.

“If we get the Moderna [vaccine] in the week of March 15, then we can go up to that 700-thousand for the month, so we’ll be able to increase the number of appointments,” he told a press conference.

After a rough start Monday, physical vaccination sites like Decarie Square were running smoothly on Tuesday, with almost no lines and very short wait times, according to regional health officials.  Dupuis said they are managing to work out problems and people are being asked to show up just in time for their appointment, instead of arriving early and creating lineups.

Read more: Canada on track to get nearly 1M vaccines this week and next: officials

While Schneider is hoping he can get an appointment soon, he doesn’t want to spend his time calling daily hoping something opens up.

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