MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Vaccine eligibility is being expanded to include all adults 65 and older in London-Middlesex and Oxford and Elgin counties.

Starting Tuesday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) and Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) are making the vaccine available to anyone born in 1956 or earlier.

Health officials say strong uptake, increasing supply and the start of vaccinations in local pharmacies have made it possible to expand vaccinations.

“The inclusion of pharmacy is an important step to expanding our local vaccination efforts and reach more people,” said SWPH Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joyce Lock in a statement.

MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie added, “We are happy to be able to open to this new group and will open to additional groups as soon as we have capacity to do so…Our goal remains to get the vaccine into the arms of those who want it as quickly as we can.”

Appointments can be booked online at www.covidvaccinelm.ca or by phone at 226-289-3560, though due to a high volume of calls booking on the web is recommended.

During virtual media briefing on Tuesday, Mackie added that he expects they will be able to expand eligibility to all adults 60 and older within the week.