| Print This Page |

Southwestern Public Health updates vaccine clinics to reduce access barriers

Posted on Monday July 19, 2021

Southwestern Public Health is updating its COVID-19 vaccination efforts to reach people who may have trouble accessing vaccines in Elgin County, Oxford County, and the City of St. Thomas. 

Beginning July 19, all three mass immunization clinics in St. Thomas, Woodstock, and Tillsonburg will offer walk-in appointments in addition to servicing pre-booked first and second dose appointments. After July 23, the Tillsonburg clinic will transition to a Friday-only site to reflect ongoing demand for Friday appointments there. This will continue through to the end of August, at which point the site will close

Oxford County EMS has been working alongside Southwestern Public Health to staff the Tillsonburg clinic and have committed to support the team at Woodstock-Goff Hall moving forward. “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,” says Cynthia St. John, Chief Executive Officer at Southwestern Public Health. 

Vaccine supply will be reallocated to strategies that further reduce vaccination barriers, including more pop-up clinics in remote neighbourhoods, ongoing walk-in appointments at both the St. Thomas and Woodstock sites, and extending hours in Woodstock from a 4:30 p.m. closure to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. These changes are in addition to provincial plans to increase vaccine availability at pharmacies and primary care by early fall. 

“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,” says Dr. Joyce Lock, Medical Officer of Health. “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 who has an appointment booked in Tillsonburg after July 23 can reschedule their appointment online at www.covidvaccineLM.ca or at 1-800-922-0096 ext. 9 from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday. Southwestern Public Health will also begin contacting individuals who have appointments in August, September, or October to assist with rescheduling efforts.