Southwestern Public Health, effective Monday, July 19, has opened all three of its COVID-19 mass-immunization clinics, in St. Thomas, Tillsonburg and Woodstock, to walk-in patients.
The clinics will also continue to offer pre-booked appointments for first and second doses of vaccine.
As of Friday, July 23, though, Tillsonburg will move to being open only Fridays, to reflect the current demand there, until the end of August, when it will close.
The health unit, in a statement, said Oxford County paramedics had been helping to staff the Tillsonburg clinic, and would now turn their focus to the clinic at Goff Hall in Woodstock.
Southwestern Chief Executive Officer Cynthia St. John said, “Oxford County EMS has been an exceptional partner in our efforts to vaccinate residents in the Southwestern Public Health region. We could not have done this as quickly and efficiently without their support.”
Vaccine supply from Tillsonburg would be reallocated to pop-up clinics in more remote communities, walk-in patients at St. Thomas and Woodstock, and extending the hours at Goff Hall weekdays to 6:30 p.m. from 4:30 p.m.
These changes were in addition to provincial plans to increase vaccine availability at pharmacies and primary care (family physicians) by early autumn, the health unit said.
Southwestern Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joyce Lock said, “Scaling down a mass vaccination clinic is a positive indicator that we are nearing the end of the urgent COVID-19 vaccination campaign in our region.
“We now need to focus our attention on reaching those who have barriers to accessing vaccine through our current clinic formats, and transition to a more traditional vaccination model that will take into account time of day, easy access to appointments, and pharmacy and primary care ramping up their services.”
Anyone with an appointment after July 23 in Tillsonburg can reschedule online at www.covidvaccineLM.ca or by phoning 1-800-922-0096 extension 9 from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday.
Southwestern Public Health will also begin contacting individuals who have appointments in Tillsonburg in August, September, or October to help with rescheduling.