Who is eligible to get their vaccines now?
The Southwestern public health unit has announced seniors over the age of 80 (born in 1941 or before) and Indigenous seniors age 55 or older are now eligible to get their shots.
More health-care workers are now also eligible. They include patient-facing workers involved in COVID-19 response, community health-care workers, in-patient or procedural health-care workers like those in dialysis, and medical first responders like paramedics and firefighters. It also includes residents and staff in congregate-care facilities for seniors, like assisted living.
Where and when will you get your shot?
For now, vaccinations are being done at London’s Western Fair Agriplex site, where most of the area’s vaccinations for long-term care staff have also been completed.
But clinics will be opening locally: officials have said there will be one clinic in Elgin and another in Oxford. Those are expected to open the week of March 15, and booking details will be shared next week.
The announcement about vaccine eligibility came Monday, and Indigenous adults 55 and older were able to book their appointments Monday. Seniors 80 and over will be able to book their appointments beginning Tuesday morning, though those bookings are only for appointments in London, until Southwestern public health makes an announcement next week about local clinics and booking.
How do I book my vaccination?
Booking information for Elgin and Oxford county sites will be made public the week of March 8. But if you or your loved one prefer not to wait, residents who fit the criteria can get their shots in London. To book an appointment, call 226-289-3560. Appointments will be available from March 6 to March 8, given still-limited vaccine supply.
Public health officials said Monday each health unit has its own booking process for now, and should use the provided phone number. The phone line opens at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
If you’re part of a health-care or first-responder priority group, you’ll receive information through your employer.
What do I need to get my shot?
You need two things to get your vaccine: an appointment and a completed consent form, Southwestern public health says.
People will be turned away without a booked appointment. Residents can complete and print out a consent form ahead of time – available online – or fill one out at their appointment
I don’t fit into any of these current vaccination groups. When will I get my shot?
The criteria for Tuesday are still part of Ontario’s phase-one vaccination plan. In phase two, seniors 79 of younger, essential workers and more first responders will be eligible, and the province is expecting that rollout to begin in April. As many as 8.7-million Ontarians could be eligible in phase two.
The general public will be eligible in phase three of the vaccination rollout, likely to begin in August depending on vaccine availability.
How many people have been vaccinated so far?
More than 2,500 people in the Southwestern public health region have received a vaccine so far, including residents at long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes. First-dose vaccinations were completed at the area’s long-term care homes on Jan. 27. Staff, eligible health-care workers and essential caregivers related to those homes are now receiving their vaccines
Where can I find more information?
Residents can get more information about vaccination efforts in the Southwestern public health region online at swpublichealth.ca. But if you or someone you know has trouble accessing the internet, Southwestern public health also has two local phone lines residents can call for information: Elgin at 519-631-4125 and Oxford –at 519-533-4560.