An official at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) says they are going to expand the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to more hospital staff and physicians.

While the focus remains on those working in senior care settings, Dr. Adam Dukelow, chief medical officer for LHSC, says they will be expanding eligibility for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

It will now include those who work in emergency departments, critical care units and hospital units that care for COVID-19 patients across the region, including Huron, Perth, Oxford, Middlesex and Elgin counties.

Nuses and registered practical nurses with be the first to get the vaccine followed by physicians and residents, then other staff and support staff who come in contact wiht patients.

The hospital noted that there are currently more staff on the list for vaccines than doses available.

Dukelow added, “In 12 days since the first local vaccine dose was administered, by the end of today, we anticipate we will have vaccinated 2,700 health care workers, primarily from the long-term care setting.”

The field hospital at the Western Fair Agriplex being used to administer the vaccine is also being expanded to 20 vaccination stations, up from 12.

LHSC expects to get to the level of delivering 1,000 shots per day in the near future and Dukelow says, “Ultimately our goal is to get as many shots in arms as quickly as possible.”

Eventually, the hope is that the number of vaccinations administered will be limited only by the number of vaccine doses received.

Once the Moderna vaccine becomes available locally, which is expected soon, the Middlesex-London Health Unit says those doses are expected be transported to long-term care and retirement homes to be administered to residents.