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Kingston parents encounter problems booking kids’ vaccine appointments

Click to play video: 'Parents experience frustration and glitches as COVID-19 vaccination bookings become available for children' Parents experience frustration and glitches as COVID-19 vaccination bookings become available for children
KFL&A chose to use their own booking system for children 11 and under instead of the province-wide system. When bookings first became available people experienced system glitches and frustration. – Nov 23, 2021

Today was the day parents with kids between the ages of five and 11 were able to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Ontario.

In the Kingston-area, some parents say they experienced wait times, and glitches that resulted in booking more than one time slot. Still, KFL&A Public Health says more than 4,100 appointments were booked Tuesday for ages 5-11 in the region.

Read more: Health Canada approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11

Amanda Ross-White, a parent in the Kingston region, planned her day around the 8 am system launch, looking to secure one of the first available appointments, but she encountered some difficulty trying to book an appointment for her 9 year old son.

“I got to work early this morning so I would be able to book right when the site opened at 8 o’clock. There was a bit of a wait, which I was expecting, because I know how many parents have been waiting for this moment, so I didn’t mind the wait,” said Ross-White.

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However, she says, “It wouldn’t let me book for just one child. It kept asking me for four children. So I had to put my son in four times, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”

Online, a number of people took to Twitter to complain about technical glitches with the booking portal.

Read more: B.C. to start vaccinating kids age 5 to 11 against COVID next week

Parents who reached out to Global News, but didn’t want to appear on camera, called the system confusing and “far from user-friendly.”

Local parent, Diana Venditti, said she was on the site as soon as it opened at 8am, and didn’t long to wait or trouble finding an available slot.

She did, however, experience some confusion when the system would only accept the name of one of her children

“I was able to book two appointments and I was able to get them for this Saturday, so I’m feeling very lucky with that, but it didn’t allow me to add my second child’s name so I’m not sure if he’s going to be eligible for [a shot] on Saturday,” she said.
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Still, she’s relieved. With active COVID-19 case numbers high in the region, and several infections detected in children, Venditti says getting her kids vaccinated will help her sleep better at night.

“Everyday I worry that there’s going to be an outbreak in the school, and there’s nothing I can do about it, so having the ability to get them vaccinated — that’s what I can do about the situation.”

KFL&A Public Health didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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