The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has started making its way into the arms of 60 to 64 year olds who managed to get appointments at Windsor-Essex pharmacies on Friday.
Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine pilot project kicked off this week in three public health unit regions: Toronto, Windsor-Essex and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington. But health officials have said people don't need to be living in those areas to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Friday, CBC News went to the Shoppers Drug Mart at 500 Tecumseh Rd. E. — one of the 57 pharmacies in the region participating in the pilot — to check in on the rollout.
Wayne Langlois, 60, was one of the first in his age group to get the shot in Windsor-Essex. He said he registered Friday morning and didn't actually expect to get the shot the same day.
"It doesn't hurt, you barely even feel the injection," he said. "I'm glad I got it."
Meanwhile, James Richard, 64, said he came in to get it as he thinks it'll be necessary if he wants to eventually cross the border and see family once again.
"I just need to get it done," he said, adding that he felt a little "flushed" afterwards.
"It's like getting a tattoo, 'ok I want another one.'"
Sebastian Di Pietro, pharmacist owner of the Shopper's Drug Mart on Tecumseh Road East, said "things are going great." Friday was the first day his location started giving out doses.
"It's been busy but busy in a good way though, it's a positive energy," he said, adding that so far the people he's given out shots to have expressed "relief," "happiness," and "joy."
"People are just so happy to start ending this pandemic," he said.
Recently retired registered nurse from a local hospital Loretta Gallo, 60, was also in line to get the shot Friday.
"I wanted to get this done, I think it's a good idea, I think we should be vaccinated and hopefully protect everybody else and try and get back to normal as much as we can," she said.
Post-shot she said she felt "happy."
"I hope all of us can get it very soon, I know it's going to take some time but at least it's a start," she said.
"Bring it on," said Dave O'Gorman, 64.
He told CBC News he wasn't nervous at all to get the shot and hopes doing so will allow him to travel again.
He said the process of getting the vaccine at the pharmacy was working out fine.