Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Phone lines were swamped and the Alberta Health Services website crashed on Wednesday morning as seniors rushed to book vaccination appointments.

AHS said, as anticipated, the online booking tool was experiencing very high volumes Wednesday morning when the vaccine program opened up to more people.

“Call volumes to Health Link remain high and wait times may be longer than normal. Please be patient – we anticipate Alberta having enough appointments for all seniors age 75 and older by April, pending vaccine supply.”

By 9:20 a.m., 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments, tweeted AHS. That number had climbed to more than 6,000, according to another tweet.

Alberta Health Services asked that people not call 911 as some were clearly taking that route in frustration.

“Please do not call 911, hospitals or clinics directly to book appointments. 811 or the AHS online booking tool are the two ways to book your vaccine appointment.”

A number of people were expressing their frustration on Twitter.

“So close and then it crashed again. What a joke,” tweeted one.

One woman said she refreshed her screen constantly for one hour and 45 minutes before getting through an booking an appointment on her second attempt after the first failed.

Some reported getting partway through the process, which includes filling out a questionnaire, only to get an error message.

TWITTER

Starting Wednesday all Albertans born in 1946 or earlier (ages 75-plus) can receive the COVID-19 vaccine in two doses.

Alberta government ministers issued a statement on Wednesday morning urging senior Albertans to take advantage of the vaccination program.

“Having more vaccine arriving in our province means we can continue protecting our most vulnerable citizens as quickly as possible, starting with those who are most at risk of severe outcomes,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “Immunizing our seniors against COVID-19 is another important step forward in keeping our families, our communities and our health-care system safe.”

Access for eligible seniors to receive a vaccine is crucial” said Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon. “Please reach out to seniors who are 75-plus in your life and offer assistance if they need help with their appointments.”

Seniors who need help getting transportation to their vaccination sites should call 211, she said.

Alberta Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, “We know that age is the greatest determining factor in whether someone may experience severe outcomes due to COVID-19. I want to remind our eligible seniors that vaccines are safe and effective.

“Now that it is your turn, please arrange to be immunized to protect yourselves and those around you.”

Appointment bookings can be made online at ahs.ca/covidvaccine or by calling Health Link at 811, beginning at 8 a.m.

Family members can book on their behalf, but will need the senior’s Alberta Health Care number and date of birth.



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eckville Town Office. (File Photo)
Town of Eckville planning pathway around Manor and Villa

Plans for the pathway has changed slightly following feedback from the community

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin awarded $5.1 million grant for additional RCMP officers

10 Additional RCMP officers to serve the City of Wetaskiwin as a result of the grant.

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Most Read