The Middlesex-London Health Unit and Southwestern Public Health are expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 70 and older, one week after expanding access to those 75 and older.
The MLHU and SWPH issued a joint announcement Monday morning, adding that the expanded eligibility is effective immediately.
The health units say provincial data shows that, as of Saturday, more than 75 per cent of Ontarians age 80 and older and roughly one-third of those age 75 to 79 had received their first dose.
“Our priority has been to get the vaccine into arms as quickly as we can,” MLHU medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie said in a statement.
“With a growing number of those over the age of 75 having received their first dose, the time is right to invite those who are between the ages of 70 and 74 to make their appointments.”
Mackie adds that “demand for the vaccine appointments will be high” so people are encouraged to book online and check back each morning if they are unable to book an appointment right away.
SWPH medical officer of health Dr. Jocye Lock adds that “our older adults are most susceptible to severe illness and hospitalization as a result of COVID-19.”
“With the rise of cases, including cases of the variants of concern, it is important that we expand access to all of those over the age of 70,” she says.
The health units say residents born in 1951 or earlier are encouraged to book an appointment online or over the telephone at 226-289-3560.
However, telephone bookings are “discouraged because of the very high volume of calls that make it difficult to get through.”