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Tillsonburg vaccination clinic has openings for eligible age groups

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Nearly 70,000 residents of Oxford and Elgin counties have now received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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That number represents nearly 32 per cent of the Southwestern Public Health unit region’s total population.

“I think the Stay-at-Home Order, as much as it is frustrating to all of us, it is having its impact,” said medical officer of health Dr. Joyce Lock, noting the COVID-19 curve started to turn on a downward slant not long after it came into place.

“So we appreciate and thank our community citizens for doing their part in abiding by the Stay-at-Home Order. We do very much expect ad hope that the rates will continue to come down.”

The ongoing battle against COVID-19 continues in the region with 138 active cases as of Monday, including 30 in Tillsonburg.

Sixteen people have been hospitalized by COVID-19 as of Monday, with eight in intensive care units.

The Tillsonburg COVID-19 assessment centre on Bear Street tested 319 people last week.

“Variants of concern are making up 73 per cent of our active cases,” said Lock.

As of May 6, those 50 and older are eligible to receive a vaccine at one of three mass immunization clinic’s in Oxford-Elgin, including the Tillsonburg clinic at the Lions Auditorium. Vaccine is also available at five pharmacies in Tillsonburg, and some physician offices in the region.

“As supply increases, we will make more appointments available,” said Lock.

Tillsonburg’s clinic, however, may be an exception with many appointment spots still available this week and next.

“If you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, please cancel by calling the booking centre or clicking on the link in your email confirmation. If you cancel, we can fill that appointment with someone else who wants it.”

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Southwestern Public Health has launched a Same Day Vaccination List to gather names of individuals eligible for the vaccine who can get themselves to a clinic quickly when first doses are available.

“We know this vaccine is a precious resource and we aim to never waste a dose. Occasionally we have appointment cancellations or no-shows. Our goal is to get the resulting doses to residents who are eagerly waiting,” said Jaime Fletcher, program manager for the organization’s COVID-19 Vaccination Task in a media release. “The Same Day Vaccination List allows individuals to self identify if they can present at a clinic within 30 minutes of a phone call from a member of our team.”

The registration form for the list can be found on the Southwestern Public Health website. Individuals need to provide a name, contact information, date of birth and preferred location, as well as the days they are available to get themselves to a clinic within 30 minutes. Once they are on the list, SWPH will call on a first-come, first-served basis when doses become available as the week goes on.

The list is refreshed each week, so individuals who are interested must sign up again each Monday for the current week. Only those who are currently eligible according to the province’s currently eligibility criteria can be vaccinated.

“There are no guarantees, but based on what we have seen to date, we do anticipate that every day we’ll call people from the list to come in for a shot. This may result in getting a vaccine weeks ahead of a previously scheduled appointment,” said Fletcher.

The list is currently live, and individuals can sign up immediately at https://forms.swpublichealth.ca/Same-Day-Vaccination-List.

cabbott@postmedia.com

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