LONDON, ONT. -- Appointments to receive second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being rescheduled for most patients by the MIddlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) to help more people get at least one shot.

This applies to those who received their first dose at the Western Fair District Agriplex and the Mount Brydges COVID-19 clinics.

Second dose appointments will now take place up to 112 days from the first dose.

This does not affect those who live in long-term care or retirement homes, whose second dose appointment was scheduled on or after March 10.

Those affected will receive a text or email to notify them of their new date.

On Tuesday, Pat Titchner, 80, says “it does seem a long time to wait for that second one eh?” but she’s glad she got the first dose today. ” I've been in nursing and I've had to have all kinds of needles before, they are pretty quick in their and they're pretty good.”


Nelson Mills, 85, of London says, “I don't know that's kind of disappointing, still hung up for another 4 months eh? I guess whatever happens.”

Rob Vanderheyden a volunteer firefighter is glad he was able to get the shot today as for the delayed in the second dose, “well it is what it is right? You just got to roll with it, no sense complaining about it.”

“The data shows that the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine is 92 per cent effective after two weeks have passed since the initial dose and that extending the time between doses to 16 weeks doesn’t have a detrimental effect on the protection the vaccine provides,” says Dr. Chris Mackie with the MLHU.

“We are still facing a limited supply of vaccine and it makes sense to provide effective protection against COVID-19 to as many people as we can, even if it means extending the time between doses.”

The decision to reschedule second dose appointments was made after the MLHU was notified by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to extend the time between doses to 16 weeks.

In a memo, Dr. David Williams indicated that extending the time between doses would increase the number of individuals benefiting from a first dose of vaccine in the context of a limited COVID-19 vaccine supply. This also is in line with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to extend the time interval of the second dose up to 16 weeks.

Between Dec. 23, 2020 and March 8, 2021, 44,751 doses have been adminitered at the Agriplex and in the Caradoc Community Centre.

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