Middlesex-London could lose COVID-19 vaccine doses to Toronto and other hot spots
LONDON, ONT. -- In the midst of the pandemic’s third wave, pressure is mounting to ensure London and Middlesex County continues to receive its fair share of COVID-19 vaccines.
Concern is being expressed by the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) that local supplies of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may be reduced, so that more shots can be directed to postal codes declared ‘hot spots’ by the province.
“We know there is only a finite amount of vaccine coming into the province, and that there have been hotspots identified,” said Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alex Summers during Thursday’s media briefing. “It is a concern that we may see some reduction in our vaccine supply locally.”
Mayor Ed Holder points out the population of hotspot postal codes including the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) represent over half the population of Ontario.
Prioritizing all adults for vaccine in those areas threatens to strain supply here.
“We know that that part of the province truly must be fixed, but at the same time London has a very serious issue,” Holder explains.
The three highest daily cases counts recorded in London and Middlesex County have come in just the past week, but the mayor’s push to declare London a hotspot has yet to convince the province.
“London being declared a hotspot,” said Mayor Holder. “I’ll just ask us all to be a little bit patient with that, and our work will continue with the province in that regard.”
The three mass vaccination clinics in Middlesex-London are operating well below capacity, and a fourth is on hold until vaccine shipments increase.
Dr. Summers adds the MLHU has also been lobbying for a fair share of doses,
“The province is aware of the high amount of activity we have seen here. We too have a desperate need for as much vaccine as we can get.”