COVID-19: Holiday pop-up vaccination clinic to open at CF Masonville Place: MLHU

FILE-A health-care worker prepares to administer a Pfizer/BioNTEch coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at The Michener Institute, in Toronto on Dec. 14, 2020. CARLOS OSORIO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A pop-up, walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic will open its doors at CF Masonville Place in London, Ont. this week in a bid to get shots into the arms of Londoners out doing their holiday shopping, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) said Tuesday.

The clinic, set to open at noon on Wednesday near the mall’s lower level Entrance 6 doors and run until New Year’s Eve, will provide first doses of the vaccine to anyone age five and older, as well as second and third doses to those eligible, the health unit said in a statement.

“It is hoped the clinic will reach those who have not yet been vaccinated due to barriers, such as convenience and limited transportation options.”

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The clinic will run Wednesday to Friday from noon to 8 p.m., on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the health unit says.

“We hope that with easier access to the vaccine, we will get even better coverage and uptake, especially now that children between the ages of five and 11 are eligible,” said Maureen MacCormick, director of healthy living and chief of operations, for the MLHU’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics, in a statement.

Roughly 90 per cent of people in London-Middlesex over 12 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, while 87.5 per cent have gotten two. Adjusted to include those aged 5-11, the percentages are 83.3 and 80.8, respectively.

It’s the second time MLHU and CF Masonville Place have partnered to open a walk-in vaccination clinic at the mall. One operated this past summer from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, and saw over 2,500 doses administered, 52 per cent of them first doses, the health unit said at the time. A separate temporary clinic later opened at White Oaks Mall.

“We hope that with the larger space and longer hours, parents will find it accessible and children and guests of all ages will feel welcome,” said Sandra Lorentiu, general manager of CF Masonville Place, in a statement.

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The opening of the winter clinic comes as the calendar flips over into December, and as the health unit urges local residents once again to celebrate the approaching holiday season safely amid the pandemic and concerns over the new Omicron variant.

In an advisory issued last week, the health unit said that while the indoor gathering limit in Ontario was 25, residents were asked to consider keeping gatherings as small as possible, and to make sure that all involved are vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The fewer people who gather, the lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” the advisory read.

“If you’re planning to host or attend holiday gatherings, please consider keeping your gatherings as small as you can and make sure that everyone is vaccinated. If you’re not feeling well, stay home.”

Health officials note that outdoor gatherings or events remain safer than indoor ones, and that virtual gatherings, while not the same as in-person gatherings, remain a safe way to celebrate if people are unvaccinated or have an unknown vaccine status.

More guidance and tips related to holiday celebrations can be found on the MLHU website.

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