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Middlesex-London Health Unit closing vaccination clinic

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It’s the end of the road for London’s first COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit announced Wednesday its COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Western Fair District, which first launched in the Agriplex in December 2020, is closing permanently on Dec. 16.

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“This moment signifies an important milestone in our collective journey against the global pandemic,” medical officer of health Alex Summers said in a news release.

“The closure of the clinic is not just the end of a chapter but a testament to the resilience and strength of our community in the face of unprecedented challenges.”

The clinic, which launched as a partnership between the health unit and London Health Sciences Centre, delivered its first COVID-19 vaccine dose on Dec. 23, 2020. The clinic was in a corner of the same space as LHSC’s field hospital, an emergency set-up built in the first weeks of the pandemic.

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In the early months of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, when supply was scarce, only long-term care residents and select front-line health care workers were eligible for the shots. The Western Fair District clinic, the first mass vaccination site to open in the region, saw eligible people from London and Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Huron and Perth counties.

The clinic was a key part of the public mass vaccination campaign in the spring and summer of 2021, one of four operated by the health unit in the London-area.

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The clinic moved to a smaller space in Western Fair District’s main building, beside the Gateway Casino, in October 2022.

By the time it closes on Dec. 16, the health unit clinic will have operated for 518 clinic days between the two Western Fair District buildings. It has provided 235,407 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to date.

The mass vaccination clinic is administering the flu shot and Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster up until its closing date. Walk-in appointments are being accepted during its operational hours, from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

People seeking a COVID-19 shot also can book an appointment online at www.covidvaccinelm.ca or calling 226-289-3560 Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After the clinic is permanently closed on Dec. 16, the public can get their COVID-19 vaccine at participating pharmacies or through their family doctor, the health unit said.

jbieman@postmedia.com

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