Vaccination no-shows: Why are thousands of appointments going unfilled?

DM

Vaccinate and vaccinate quickly — those are public health orders across the country. But in a rollout plagued with confusion, doses have gone unclaimed in some instances despite the urgency and calls from doctors for vaccines to be opened up to workplace hotspots and essential workers. Last weekend, in Montreal alone, 5,000 appointments were left unfulfilled. The province called it frustrating, and says it will soon open up eligibility to more groups. “All those essential workers will have the plan tomorrow as to how that will evolve,” Christian Dube, the province’s Minister of Health, told reporters on Tuesday. The no-shows are happening all over Canada. Last week, city staff in Toronto were urging people to claim the 7,000 appointments that were still open for the week. Some experts blame government messaging for the empty appointment slots. Dr. Amit Arya says confusing rules that often change from region to region and shifting policies around the AstraZeneca vaccine are contributing to the difficulty, and these are challenges government officials need to overcome with better communication.

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