2 more COVID-19 vaccine clinics announced for London, Ont.

A photo shared on Dec. 22, 2020 shows a shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in London, Ont. via @LHSCCanada/Twitter

The Middlesex-London Health Unit is announcing the locations of two additional COVID-19 vaccine clinic sites in London, Ont.

The sites will be the third and fourth in the region. A clinic at the Western Fair District Agriplex in London has been operating since late December and a clinic at the Caradoc Community Centre in Mount Brydges is set to open on Thursday.

Read more: Coronavirus — Vaccine eligibility expanded to more priority groups in London region

The health unit says work is already underway to convert into clinics the North London Optimist Community Centre on Cheapside Street near Highbury Avenue North and Ice Pad A at the Earl Nichols Recreation Centre near Southdale Road East and Wharncliffe Road South.

Both the community centre and the ice pad are closed for the work. The health unit says the clinics are not expected to be open to the public for “several weeks” but it’s believed that they will be used to support the rollout of Phase 2 of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

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However, once they open, it’s expected they’ll remain in use until at least the fall.

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“These facilities will allow us to expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts in our community, once more vaccine becomes available,” says MLHU medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie.

“These sites will provide more flexibility and choice once we are able to scale up the daily delivery of COVID-19 vaccine and increase the number of people who can get vaccinated according to the Province’s prioritization framework.”

Read more: 2 Ontario universities to study COVID-19 transmission, immunity on campus

The MLHU also says it’s been “working closely with the City of London” to make sure the locations meet all health, safety and security requirements.

“We are committed to supporting our health care partners and our community by ensuring that when we need them, we have facilities available and ready to be used when the time comes for the delivery of vaccines to move into the broader community phases,” said Mayor Ed Holder.

The health unit adds that vaccine eligibility will be reviewed weekly by the vaccine prioritization advisory committee based on regional supply and direction from the province. The health unit also says it will provide regular updates on eligibility criteria and that vaccine information is available on its website.

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Most recently, local health officials announced expanded criteria on Tuesday following updated guidance from the province and a renewed shipment of vaccine.

In a joint statement, the Middlesex-London Health Unit along with Huron Perth Public Health and Southwestern Public Health said initial doses of the vaccine would soon begin for additional priority groups under Phase 1 of the province’s plan.

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