People aged 70 and up can now pre-register for COVID-19 vaccine

GUELPH – People aged 70 and older can now pre-register for COVID-19 vaccines. But that doesn’t move this new age group to the front of the line just yet.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is still vaccinating the first priority group established by the province.

That includes people 80 and older, Indigenous adults, residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care and retirement homes, along with health professionals in all settings and people who work in congregate care settings.

WDGPH spokesperson Danny Williamson said public health officials want to complete this group first before moving on to phase two – and the timing will depend on vaccine supply.

Along with those aged 70-plus, frontline police officers have also been added to the pre-registration list.

“Pre-registration helps us book appointments quickly and easily as vaccine supply becomes available,” states the WDGPH website. “The information you provide will be used at a later date to contact you and reserve your vaccination appointment.”

Public health cautions that “pre-registration does not mean you will get an appointment right away” and urges people to be patient while they wait to be contacted for an appointment.

It could take many weeks after pre-registering.

When appointments open up, public health officials will contact those who have pre-registered via email or text.

If you’re having trouble with online registration, Wellington County and Guelph public library staff can help.

As of March 9, 6,468 people in WDG are fully vaccinated and 21,972 doses have been administered.

Public health officials have stated that when the AstraZeneca vaccine is more widely available, it can be administered in pharmacies and doctors’ offices as it is more stable and doesn’t require hyper-cold storage.

That development will speed up the process and get shots in arms quickly and efficiently, they say.

WDGPH has a target of vaccinating 75% of the total eligible population by August.