A public health nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)A public health nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

London-area's last mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic closing

The Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) will permanently shut the door to its last remaining mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic next month.

The Western Fair District clinic's last day of operation will be December 16.

"This moment signifies an important milestone in our collective journey against the global pandemic, and it is with appreciation that we acknowledge the hard work and dedication of everyone involved,” said Dr. Alex Summers, the region's medical officer of health. “The closure of the clinic is not just the end of a chapter but a testament to the resilience and strength of our community in the face of unprecedented challenges. The countless hours of hard work, compassion, and commitment exhibited by everyone has been instrumental in achieving our shared goal of promoting and protecting the health of our community."

The clinic was the London region's first mass COVID-19 vaccination site, opening in the Agriplex in December 2020. It was relocated to the Western Fair District’s main building in October 2022. During its 518 days in operation at the two sites, health care providers administered 235,407 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. As demand for the COVID shot dwindled and to meet community needs, the clinic also began providing school immunization services and co-administration of the influenza vaccine this fall.

"Looking ahead, it is important to remember that the fight against COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in our community continue,” added Summers.

The latest Respiratory Summary, a weekly report outlining the level of COVID-19 and influenza activity in London and Middlesex, issued by the health unit on Tuesday shows the spread of the virus is high. There were 106 new COVID-19 cases confirmed last week. Wastewater data also shows a high rate of COVID-19 in the region.

The health unit continues to urge people to get the vaccine. Shots will continue to be administered at the Western Fair clinic until its December 16 closure date. Those interested can make an appointment or walk-ins anytime between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Appointments can be booked online at www.covidvaccinelm.ca or calling 226-289-3560 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The COVID-19 vaccine is also available at local pharmacies. A list of participating pharmacies, can be found at covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

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