1st doses of COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in Windsor within 2 weeks

·2 min read

Windsor Regional Hospital is one of more than a dozen facilities in Ontario's COVID-19 hotspots to begin receiving a small amount of the vaccine.

Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be arriving within two weeks, the province announced Friday.

Up to 90,000 doses of the vaccine — enough to inoculate half as many people — are expected in the province by the end of the year.

In a joint statement, the hospital and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said initial supplies will be "limited" and they can't confirm the number of doses they will receive or the exact date vaccinations will start.

As for where vaccinations will take place, the hospital said it will disclose that information "at a later date." Since "the movement of the vaccine is not allowed from its initial delivery site" because it must be stored at -80 C, individuals will need to attend the site of the vaccine.

According to the hospital and the health unit, the first group the province is focusing on is workers at long-term care and retirement homes that are not in outbreak, in red zones and grey lockdown regions, which include Windsor-Essex.

As more of the vaccine becomes available, it will be distributed to additional priority populations.

Long term care cook 'ecstatic' for vaccine

Tony Auby is one of three cooks at the Cardinal Place retirement home in Windsor.

He said when he heard that staff at long-term care and retirement homes were a priority group for the vaccine, he was "ecstatic."

"I can't wait for this to happen," he told CBC News Friday. "This is going to help me protect my family, the people I work with and the residents here at Cardinal Place."

Sanjay Maru/CBC
Sanjay Maru/CBC

In general, he said people at the home are reacting positively toward the news, though there is some hesitation.

"As with anything, there's a little bit of concern. But I've been following the news for a while and it seems like they know what they're talking about so I'm on board with this," he said, adding since the start of the pandemic, he's made sure to take all precautions to keep himself and others safe.

Vaccinations started on Dec. 15 in Toronto and Ottawa. To date, more than 2,300 doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to the province.

The news comes after Windsor-Essex surpassed 1,000 active cases of the virus, with a record 243 new cases announced Friday.