Vaccine bookings double after certificate program is announced

Health Minister says nearly half of the appointments were for first doses

The vaccine certification program announced by the Ford government might already be having the desired effect.

Health ministry officials say vaccine appointments have more than doubled in the last 24 hours after the program was unveiled making it mandatory to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access certain non-essential services such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms and casinos.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Twitter that Ontario is “already seeing thousands more Ontarians roll up their sleeves.”

She said nearly half of the appointments were for first doses.

There were 3,479 appointments booked using the provincial booking system on Aug. 31.

On Sept. 1., when the vaccine certificate program was announced, the number soared to 7,125.

The program begins on Sept. 22. For now, residents will need to download their receipt of vaccination using the provincial site.

The province hopes to have an app available a month later with a QR code that businesses can scan.