MLHU has plans under construction for the return of the GO-VAXX Bus to London, Ontario. at the end of January

In an effort to get more shots, the provincial government is trying to make COVID-19 doses more accessible across the province.

The Metrolinx GO-VAXX bus stopped in London, Ontario. Saturday offering nearly 180 meetings.

“It’s less than five minutes from our house, so we thought we would drop by today and take our third photo,” said Trish Phillipon, who lives near Commissioners Road and Deveron Crescent in London where the travel bus was. parked for seven hours. hours Saturday.

Her son Nathan had a date at the Western Fair Agriplex later in the month, but she was also able to get him in for his third dose on Saturday.

“My wife and I were watching the news the other night and they announced that the bus was coming, so she got on the computer and made the arrangements for me,” said Jeff Onderwater, who was receiving his booster.

With three fully operational vaccination sites in Middlesex-London, as well as pharmacies, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) was delighted that the bus could provide further assistance.

“We want everyone to get their vaccines and so providing lots of ways to book and get a vaccine is going to get us to this point,” said Mary Lou Albanese, MLHU Acting Director, Environmental Health and Infectious Diseases. .

“We’ve had a lot of success with getting the first and second doses in our community and in Middlesex in London. We have 90 percent for the first dose, the second doses around 90. So getting our five to 11 year olds and our recalls, faster, hopefully we can start to see a drop in cases due to Omicron. ”

Making an appointment on the GO-VAXX bus is slightly different from a regular meeting in the London area. People had to use the provincial portal, but everyone who spoke to CTV News on Saturday said that was fine.

Those on the bus on Saturday said they were able to get in at short notice.

“I heard yesterday (Friday) that the bus was going to be there and that they were going to put the appointments online at eight o’clock,” said Kevin Howard from London.

“So I got up early, I logged in and even though I was online early I was 35th in a row, but I got a spot and it was really convenient. “

Some have even come from out of town to get vaccinated.

“We came here instead of traveling an hour and a half to Port Burwell or St. Thomas where they want us to get our shots,” says Julie Vajdik of Ingersoll, Ont.

“You cannot access the internet to make your appointments, so we waited for this opportunity and took it. “

The Metrolinx GO-VAXX bus had almost 180 appointments at its stop in London, Ontario. on Saturday January 8, 2022 (Brent Lale / CTV London)

Due to high demand, buses run by appointment only. There is no authorization for walk-in access, which ensures the safety of those attending the clinic and of the security personnel.

But that didn’t stop a few people from trying to walk in without an appointment. Security turned them back.

The GO-VAXX bus in partnership with Metrolinx has been in service since August 2021, and with a capacity of 250-300 doses per day, they have delivered approximately 30,000 doses since the start of the program.

For those who missed out on a spot on Saturday, MLHU says there will be more opportunities.

“We are already in discussions to have them released later in January,” Albanese said.

“We are looking for a date, a time and a place and we are looking for another place. From the point of view of the health unit, we look at neighborhoods where the vaccination rate is lower, and this is usually due to the inability to go to a site or book at a site. The bus needs a large area, to be able to park the bus and to park people is very necessary. We are therefore in discussion at the moment and are planning another bus in a few weeks. “

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