Some regions moving faster than others in expansion of vaccine rollout
LONDON, ONT. -- Many families are breathing easier as the provincial vaccine rollout moves ahead of schedule, with those in the 18 to 39-year-old age cohort now eligible to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
It can’t come soon enough for 27-year-old London grocery store employee Cam Russell. “I’m constantly in contact with the public, hundreds of people every single day. So for me it feels a little bit more safe in my day to day life. It makes so much sense to get a vaccine myself.”
London, Ont. grocery store employee Cam Russell who booked a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on May 18, 2021. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV London)
Those in Middlesex London may not be celebrating just yet, as the medical officer of health has already indicated that demand will outpace supply over the next four weeks. Dr. Chris Mackie has said that only 24,000 vaccine doses will be available for 135,000 people in the new age group.
Speaking to CTV News, Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said there may be opportunities for additional supply.
“What we are encouraging people to do and health units to do, is show us your plan on how quickly you can vaccinate people. We have some provincial stategic supply that we then give to the public health units.”
Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, who spoke via Zoom to CTV News London on May 18, 2021.
In neighbouring Lambton County, public health officials announced Tuesday that a 50 per cent vaccination rate has been reached for those currently eligible. Lambton Public health is now offering appointments to anyone aged 12 and above.
But the solicitor general cautions against regions moving too quickly in the vaccine rollout.
“We are as a province encouraging public health units to at this point stick to the 18 and above. We have a plan to vaccinate adolescents from 12 to 18. But it frankly leads to a bit of confusion when certain regions go ahead of others.”
In a news release, Lambton Public Health said it estimates close to 65 per cent of the eligible population in the region will have received at least one dose of vaccine by the end of May.