Mayor, Mackie want thousands of expiring shots used as 12 new COVID-19 cases reported

Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 12 new COVID-19 cases Thursday as it pushes people to get vaccinated with doses set to expire in the coming weeks.

London Mayor Ed Holder joined the call for people to get out and get the shot, so that 21,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine that will expire on Aug. 12 don't go to waste.

"These vaccines are safe, they work, they're how we finally bring this pandemic under control once and for all. So I'm saying to the unvaccinated, 'Wake up, it's time.' We have 21,000 doses of a life-saving vaccine. It would be an absolute travesty if demand fails to meet the supply, especially when people in other parts of the world would do anything to be in our position."

Both Holder and MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie pointed out that the vaccine is a life-saver.

Over the past month-and-a-half, MLHU data shows that all deaths, nearly 85 per cent of hospitalizations and 70 per cent of positive cases have been among the unvaccinated. There have been no hospitalizations among those who are fully vaccinated.

Mackie says as demand is being met, so new demand is dropping, but "that happened very quickly and so it was difficult to adjust appropriately over that time."

He adds that there are some cases of people being picky – wanting Pfizer over the Moderna vaccine – but they are still seeing good uptake, with over 81,000 doses of Moderna administered over the last few weeks.

On the positive side, Mackie says the region has passed the 80 per cent threshold for first dose vaccinations among those who are eligible for the vaccine and is at over 60 per cent for second doses.

Where the numbers stand

The return to double-digit cases came a day after the region reported its lowest daily count in more than a month with just two cases. There were no new deaths reported.

The region now has a total of 12,765 cases and 229 deaths, with 12,482 cases resolved leaving 54 active. There are now 3,594 cases with a variant of concern, including 93 of the more contagious Delta variant.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is caring for seven inpatients with COVID-19 with fewer than five in critical care.

An outbreak continues in the B7-200 Adult Inpatient Mental Health/PICU unit at Victoria Hospital. Fewer than five cases are currently associated with the outbreak.

REGIONAL COVID-19 COUNTS

Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities:

  • Elgin-Oxford – seven new, 18 active, 3,946 total, 3,844 resolved, 84 deaths, 868 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – eight new, 79 active, 2,093 total, 1,993 resolved, 18 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – one new, 10 active, 2,733 total, 2,669 resolved, 48 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – five active, 1,937 total, 1,875 resolved, 57 deaths, 348 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – one new, six active, 3,638 total, 3,564 resolved, 68 deaths, 676 variants

Ontario health officials reported 218 new infections across the province Thursday, the first time in three weeks the daily count has surpassed 200.