Last-minute COVID-19 vaccination appointments not typical in Manitoba
WINNIPEG -- After Monday’s blast of springtime snow, Winnipegger Barb Sailor thought she may be able to take a cancelled COVID-19 vaccination appointment, but found out that the province doesn’t do that.
“I just thought I had an appointment on Saturday for my shot and I assumed there might be a lot of cancellations today and tomorrow,” the 64-year-old told CTV News. “So I called the appointment number and asked the lady there if I could come in on a cancellation and she said they cannot book appointments within 36 hours.”
Sailor felt there was not much she could do about the situation, but was also disappointed to hear getting an earlier appointment was not possible, because her original appointment time on Saturday could’ve been made available to someone else.
“We’re supposed to be giving them as quickly as we can because with the new variants it’s even more dangerous,” she said. “People could’ve been in there using that time to get their vaccine.”
A provincial spokesperson told CTV News Tuesday that cancelled vaccination appointments are refilled.
“When an appointment is cancelled, it is automatically re-entered into the booking system and made available,” they said in a written response.
They also said that how quickly someone can get an appointment depends on where the person lives.
“Some regions have readily available appointments, while in Winnipeg, appointments may be booked out 3 weeks,” they wrote. “It also depends on the client and their ability to attend.”
They also said that typically same-day appointments are not made and that the province is not considering implementing a waitlist for cancelled appointments to be filled.
Sailor, who is retired, feels a waitlist should have been in place from the beginning.
“Even if I was working, I would ask my employer if I could leave for a couple of hours to go get the shot and I am sure they’d agree to that.”
CTV News has requested information from the province on how many COVID-19 vaccination appointments were cancelled Monday and Tuesday.