Today the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Middlesex County Library and London Public Library will launch a collaborative effort, which aims to reach adults eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but have not yet been able to do so. Since vaccination appointments were made available to London and Middlesex County residents over the age of 80 on March 2nd, and later expanded to those over the age of 60 on April 12th, nearly 140,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered. While the Health Unit estimates more than 80% of those over the age of 80, and 65% of those between 70 and 74 years old, have already received their first dose of vaccine, a strategy was needed to reach those who had not yet booked their vaccine appointment.
Starting today, staff at London Public Library and Middlesex County Library branches will be calling library cardholders aged 70 and older to ensure they have the information they need to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment and that they know where to find more information if they have questions.
“There has been strong demand for the COVID-19 vaccines since we launched our public vaccination campaign, but we know that there were challenges for some folks when it came to booking appointments,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “We are confident that our library partners in London and Middlesex County will be able to reach many of those who have yet to make an appointment and support them in getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”
“London Public Library has continued to provide service and support to Londoners through the Pandemic and we’re so happy to be able to step up to help our community book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments,” says London Public Library CEO Michael Ciccone. “This is such a tangible way that we can use our skills and relationships with our community to assist those who may experience barriers to booking an appointment or need help finding more information. We’d like our community to know that we will navigate this together.”
More than 9,200 London area residents aged 70 and older will be reached through these calls. Once this age group has been reached, the Library will reach out to the 13,000 library cardholders who are between the ages of 60 and 69. The Middlesex County Library will be reaching out to more than 2,000 library cardholders 65 years of age and older.
“As trusted community connectors, it really is a natural fit for Middlesex County Library staff to participate in this initiative,” explained Lindsay Brock, Director of Library Services for Middlesex County. “A number of barriers to access exist for our residents, including challenges related to internet service, so we want to do everything we can to help bridge these gaps.”
For more information about COVID-19, visit the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s website at www.healthunit.com/novel-coronavirus; for information from the London Public Library visit www.lpl.ca/vaccine and https://library.middlesex.ca/covid-19-vaccine-information for information from the Middlesex County Library.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-617-0570
Ellen Hobin, Manager, Communications, London Public Library, 226-219-9510
Aimee Sparzynski, Coordinator of Technical Services, Middlesex County Library, 519-245-8237
Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit
Michael Ciconne, CEO, London Public Library
Lindsay Brock, Director of Library Services for Middlesex County