The Middlesex-London Health Unit has been closely monitoring key indicators that confirm the beginning of respiratory season in the Middlesex-London region. On October 2nd, the Health Unit received confirmation of the community’s first locally acquired case of influenza A. COVID-19 indicators have also seen sustained increases over the last few weeks, such as an increase in test positivity, wastewater surveillance, number of outbreaks, and hospitalization.
“Based on what we have seen in the Southern hemisphere and what we are beginning to see locally, we are expecting this respiratory season to be more severe than one’s prior to COVID-19,” says Dr. Joanne Kearon, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “As we begin to see this increased activity of respiratory viruses, we ask you to consider your risk and recommend the following tools to ensure you are protected through the respiratory season: getting your fall vaccines (COVID-19 and influenza), masking in public indoor environments, washing your hands often, and staying home if you are unwell.”
The Health Unit will begin offering the ministry-recommended Moderna Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant COVID-19 vaccine at its Western Fair vaccination clinic to individuals at high-risk for influenza and/or COVID-19-related complications or hospitalization, health care workers, and first responders beginning Friday, October 6th.
Appointments can be booked at www.covidvaccinelm.ca or over the phone by calling 226-289-3560, Monday to Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding this upcoming Thanksgiving Monday. Phone bookings will resume on Tuesday, October 10th. The Western Fair vaccination clinic hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Alternatively, the COVID-19 vaccine can be obtained through primary health care providers or pharmacies.
Please note: Appointments are required this Friday and Saturday, as walk-in options will not be available.
The full eligibility is as follows:
- Residents and staff of congregate living settings (e.g., chronic care facilities, retirement homes)
- Pregnant individuals
- Individuals ≥ 65 years of age
- All children 6 months to 4 years of age [influenza risk]
- Individuals who are from a First Nation, Inuit or Métis community, and/or who self-identify as First Nation, Inuit, or Métis, and their household members
- Individuals 6 months of age and older with underlying health conditions per NACI (Influenza & COVID-19)
- Members of racialized and other equity deserving communities
- Health care workers and first responders
The influenza vaccine has arrived in the province and will become available to individuals at high-risk for influenza and/or COVID-19-related complications or hospitalization, health care workers, and first responders. The vaccine can be accessed through primary health care providers and pharmacies. It is important to note that the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same time, or any time before or after each other.
Please visit our website for the latest information: www.healthunit.com/covid-19-vaccine.
For access to our influenza surveillance reports please visit: www.healthunit.com/influenza-surveillance.
Morgan Lobzun, Communications Coordinator, Middlesex-London Health Unit,
519-617-0571 (cell) or email@example.com
Dr. Joanne Kearon, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit