Vaccinations jump 50% at Middlesex-London pop-up clinics since passport announcement

Local vaccination clinics are suddenly rebounding from a disappointing August.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie updating CTV News in a statement, “Since the Province’s vaccine passport announcement on Wednesday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has seen a 50 per cent increase in walk-ins at its pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the community.”

The recent jump follows seven weeks of plummeting demand for doses.

Just 10,081 shots were administered during the week ending Aug. 28, the lowest number since March when vaccine supplies were trickling into the region.

On Sept. 22, Ontario will require people to show proof of vaccination at many non-essential locations including indoor restaurants, gyms or fitness facilities, movie theatres and concert halls.

The province’s decision to implement vaccine passports has fuelled a sudden rush for vaccinations in London and Middlesex County.

Sixteen-year old Matt DeCicco was among the steady stream of people arriving for their first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Earl Nichols Arena.

He says vaccination mandates related to fitness facilities and team sports motivated him to get his second dose, “I’m a hockey and soccer guy, so I want to get back to doing all those sports.”

Returning to indoor activities requiring proof of vaccination nudged Elie Ngoy to get his first dose.

“Its very important that we go back to life as it normally was,” explains Ngoy. “I come from a country, Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a lot of illnesses. One of the reasons the illnesses last so long is people’s perceptions of things like vaccination.”

At a media briefing on Thursday, Dr. Mackie expressed his belief that the list of activities and locations requiring vaccine passports will grow as Ontario wades deeper into the pandemic’s fourth wave.

“I think you will see expansion of the mandate as you see outbreaks justify that expansion across the province