Vaccine rollout to begin ramp-up in Middlesex-London

Starting Friday anyone over the age of 55 can book an appointment for a vaccine at one of the city’s vaccination centres.

Next week those over the age of 50, and the week of May 10 will open to the 40-plus group, with 30 and up following a week later on May 17 and anyone over 18 by the end of the month.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says they anticipate being able to stay close to those targets.

“We’re going to do our best to move in lock step with the province, we do have more and more vaccine supply coming later in May, so we hope to be able to keep pace. We might be off by a day or two here and there, but in general we’ll be able to follow that timeline.”

One of the groups that will become eligible to book next week, are teachers.

“Vaccination helps a lot,” says Thames Valley President of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario Craig Smith. “It will add a measure of confidence and comfort for many, and I think it’s an important piece.”

Teachers unions have been calling for members to be moved up in the timeline to avoid further school closures following the provinces’ current emergency shut down that is in place for another 3 weeks at least. But Smith adds vaccines aren’t the only needed action in Ontario schools.

“Personal protection hasn’t changed, there’s been no improvements to the ventilation, so the underlying pieces around that are still of concern”

As for how easy it will be to get an appointment once your eligibility comes up, Mackie says the average wait time is two to four weeks and that is expected to continue.

“We’ll be hitting the second doses for the people who were out at four months, sometime in May; later in May. And that will mean some of the new vaccine supply will go to that group. It’s not a large amount because there were so few people who were getting vaccines four months ago, but it will be a factor.”

Mackie added there still has been no direction on when chilren under 18 years of age will be vaccinated.