Health unit speeding up 2nd doses

A public health nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

People 12 years of age and over will soon be able to an earlier appointment for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Middlesex London Health Unit announced Sunday that it is expanding the shortened second dose interval for anyone 12 or older. As of 8 a.m. Monday, people who recieved an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) will be able to re-book their second dose appointments for an earlier time, as long as there are 28 days between doses. The announcement comes in the wake of a similar announcement from the province on Friday.

“Continued large deliveries of vaccine and additional staff resources at mass vaccination clinics, have given the Health Unit confidence that it can extend shortened second dose intervals to all individual,” the health unit said in a statement on Sunday.

For people who recieved an Astra Zeneca vaccine as their first dose, an interval of eight weeks must still be maintained.

“This announcement is a big step toward ensuring that all individuals in our region have the opportunity to enjoy a two-dose summer,” said Middlesex London Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie. “When you are re-booking your shortened second dose, it isimportant to remember that you must not book your second dose appointment any earlier than 28 days after your first dose of an mRNA vaccine.”

The health unit says it has added capacity to its vaccination clinics and will open approximately 50,000 more appointments
starting Monday morning, with 6,600 new appointments being added each day.

To book an appointment, or to re-book a second dose appointment, people can go to www.covidvaccinelm.ca or call 226-289-3560 .