Island Health has some tips for people trying to book a vaccination appointment for themselves, or for a loved one.

This comes after a rough start to the booking period that saw call centres inundated.

More than 1.4 million calls were made in the first 90 minutes of phone lines opening, which the health authority notes was “far more than the number of seniors who are eligible to book their vaccine appointment this week.”

Starting Monday, March 8th, the registration process started for islanders who fit into the first age-based population cohort looking to grab a dose of the vaccine; those aged 90 and older, and Indigenous peoples over the age of 65.

On Tuesday, 2,749 people appointments at Island Health clinics. In the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 4,067 appointments were booked.

For those looking to book vaccinations now and into the future, Island Health has this advice:

  • Don’t have more than one person calling on behalf of an eligible senior.
  • Remember you can call later in the week and you won’t miss your turn. The call centre is open 7:00am to 7:00pm, seven days a week.
  • If you get a busy tone or “call cannot be completed as dialed” message, call back a few hours later or the next day.
  • Wait until it’s your turn to book — if you are not eligible, you won’t be able to book an appointment.

More details on Island Health’s COVID-19 vaccination program can be found here.