'It's never been easier': Mass vaccination sites open for walk-ins, but are Londoners showing up?

It’s never been easier to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you're eligible, that’s the message the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is trying to drive home, but are Londoners getting the message?

As of Tuesday, area mass vaccination sites were officially opened up to walk-ins for those 12 years old and up.

"I made an appointment this morning at nine o'clock and there was appointments available throughout the entire day,” says Jason Ratz, a London resident who got his second vaccine dose at the Western Fair District Agriplex.

Only months ago, people were competing for an appointment slot -- now all they have to do is walk in.

“We want people who have waited this long to not wait any longer, it’s really time to get your vaccine and it has never been easier,” says MLHU associate medical officer of health, Dr. Alex Summers.

Mike Watters was able to get his second dose an hour ahead of schedule at the Agriplex.

"It was absolutely empty in there, in and out no problem, quite happy.”

While an appointment is no longer necessary at any of the mass vaccination sites, most people CTV News London spoke with Wednesday, had made one anyway.

But over at the latest vaccine pop-up clinic, people were pouring in on short notice.


Susan Faist walks to a pop-up clinic at Westminster Secondary School in London, Ont. on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Jordyn Read / CTV News)

"Lets get it done and get on with life,” says Susan Faist, who jumped on her first chance to get her second dose at the pop-up clinic, located at Westminster Secondary School.

“I went online and looked for a pop-up clinic, I have an appointment for the third of August but thought if there was one closer I would go to it.”

Travis Mcarthur brought his two daughters, 17-year-old Amihan and 12-year-old Taya, to all get their second doses.

“We just jumped on it. People out there who haven’t gotten their (vaccine) may think it’s too difficult to get it through email or phone, it's real easy to just come out and do it.”


Travis Mcarthur and his family arrive to get second COVID-19 vaccine doses at a pop-up clinic in London, Ont. on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Jordyn Read / CTV News)

Summers is encouraging Londoners to spread the word about the mass vaccination sites.

He says getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and other from the illness and the Delta variant.

“Because the Delta is so infectious, if you don’t get vaccinated you are not going to be able to rely on herd immunity to protect you, which is really unfortunate. It is so infectious that you need to get yourself vaccinated to protect yourself.”

Hours at mass vaccination sites changing

With  more than 79 per cent of eligible residents having received at least one dose and nearly 57 per cent fully vaccinated as of Saturday, the MLHU is planning for a drop in demand.

Starting in August, the hours at the region's mass vaccination clinics will be reduces as the focus shifts to more mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics as well as community events.

Here's how things will change:

North London Optimist Community Centre Vaccination Clinic

  • Clinic will be closed for the Civic Holiday weekend (July 31, Aug. 1 and 2)
  • Clinic will reopen on Tuesday Aug. 3, and will operate Tuesday to Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • The clinic’s last day of operation will be Saturday, Sept. 4.

Earl Nichols Recreation Centre Vaccination Clinic

  • Clinic will be closed for the Civic Holiday weekend (July 31, Aug. 1 and 2)
  • Clinic will reopen on Tuesday Aug. 3, and will operate Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • The clinic’s last day of operation will be Friday, Sept. 3. (Please note that the Earl Nichols vaccination clinic will be brought back into service in October, if necessary.)

Caradoc Community Centre Vaccination Clinic

  • Clinic will be closed Sunday, Aug. 15 and Monday, Aug. 16
  • Clinic will reopen on Tuesday Aug. 17, and will operate Tuesday to Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Western Fair District Agriplex Vaccination Clinic

  • Will continue to operate seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., through the month of August

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