Struggling to book a vaccine appointment?
People across Canada have shared their frustration on social media after they struggled to book coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine appointments at pharmacies or find out when drop-in clinics would open in their neighbourhoods.
In response, a group of volunteers called Vaccine Hunters Canada launched a website in March to help eligible Canadians book vaccine appointments as soon as possible.
At first glance, the group's Twitter feed looks decidedly Ontario-centric. However, the administrators advise people to enter the name of the account into the Twitter search bar followed by their city or the first three letters of their postal code in order to find the most up-to-date information.
In Twitter's search bar, if you type from:@vaxhunterscan followed by a space and then your city or the first 3 letters of the postal code, you’ll get the most up to date info we have. Bookmark and refresh regularly!— Vaccine Hunters Canada (@VaxHuntersCan) April 28, 2021
[BC] Vancouver 40+— Vaccine Hunters Canada (@VaxHuntersCan) April 28, 2021
Shoppers Drug Mart in River District (Vancouver), booking appts for this Thursday.
Call in to book an appt *****while supplies last
Near Little Devils Wood Fire Pizza #COVID19 #COVID19Vaccine #COVID19BC #vhcBC pic.twitter.com/19M3llvzzP
Vaccine Hunters BC
For people living in B.C., a different group has launched a Twitter account exclusively for people in the province called Vaccine Hunters BC. The group states that it is not affiliated with Vaccine Hunters Canada and it does not have a website.
Vaccine Hunters BC shares when pharmacies will have available appointments for AstraZeneca shots as well as drop-in clinic information. The account also retweets information from people who find drop-in clinics when they are open, too.
1 AZ 40+ appt at 430pm on April 30th at 17-15300 105th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada, V3R 6A7 https://t.co/YTCUsAiGdf— Vaccine Hunters BC (@VaxHuntersBC) April 29, 2021
@VaxHuntersBC Shoppers at Fraser Hwy & 152 St. has AZ vaccine for 30+, we're the only ones in line, they're starting to administer them at noon— Invincibear (@Invincibear) April 29, 2021
'Flabbergasted': Metro Vancouverites react to AstraZeneca 'drop-in clinic' roll-out
On Tuesday (April 27), Fraser Health announced that people 40 years of age and older who live in COVID-19 high-transmission neighbourhoods could visit drop-in clinics with no appointment. Additionally, the health authority said people 30 years of age and older who live in the 10 high-transmission neighbourhoods in the Fraser Health region could also receive the vaccine.
But people in the Fraser Health Authority said they waited in long lines to receive the vaccine, while others said they weren't made aware of the clinics in the first place.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said roughly 1.9 million British Columbians are registered for their COVID-19 vaccines and that everyone will be able to book an appointment soon. However, he acknowledged that there is a limited supply of AstraZeneca at this time.
In regard to the Fraser Health drop-in clinics, Dix stated that he was "happy to report that 4,100 people were vaccinated," but that "we could have done better in terms of communication.
"We acknowledge that."
Because I live in the neighborhood I went to check it out again. The line is twice as long as yesterday. This photo is the tail end of the line laughing past the start of the line after having gone all the way around the block— Bryn Davidson @Lanefab (@Lanefab) April 24, 2021
Drop in vax pic.twitter.com/v2vp5smGFl
The 16 'high-transmission neighbourhoods' in B.C.
With hospitals in the Fraser Health Authority are already operating at capacity, while others are quickly filling up, B.C. has started giving the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people age 30 and older in high-transmission areas. "Prioritizing neighbourhoods based on COVID-19 cases, outbreaks and hospitalizations will protect more people."
High-transmission neighbourhoods are located in 16 communities across B.C.