Windsor-Essex health unit seeks volunteers with medical expertise for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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Locally, the health unit is looking for volunteers with medical background who can help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to the masses in the coming months.
Locally, the health unit is looking for volunteers with medical background who can help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to the masses in the coming months.

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The health unit is looking for volunteers with a medical background to help out at mass vaccination clinics which will be set up across the region.

"We are asking for health care providers or people with a medical background. That would be physicians, nurses, to go to our website and search COVID volunteer," said Windsor-Essex County Health Unit CEO Theresa Marentette. The health unit is also seeking interest from pharmacists.

Marentette said the health unit does have a number of its own nurses that will help with the rollout but it wants to ensure there's enough hands on deck to distribute the vaccine across a number of sites if supply increases.

Meanwhile, mass vaccination sites are being selected across the region, she said.

At this time, there is only one active vaccination clinic located at the St. Clair College Sportsplex. The hospital has also set up a clinic at Windsor Hall that will start operating when the region gets more shots.

Other locations are yet to be confirmed but the WFCU Centre is another option that is being assessed as a possible site.

Seniors in community get priority boost

But some, like 91-year-old Margo Pfeifer, are growing weary of the wait.

Submitted by Dara Pfeifer O'Connor
Submitted by Dara Pfeifer O'Connor

"I'd like to get the shot," she said. "Makes me normal, so I can do things. I've spent my whole life doing things and now I'm doing nothing."

She said she misses her grandchildren and still hasn't met some of her great-grandchildren. The vaccine offers her the hope that she can resume her life.

I feel it's great, we need the seniors to get these shots so they can get back to reality because most of them are getting depressed being at home and lonely," said Pfeifer's daughter, Dara Pfeifer O'Connor.

Pfeifer O'Connor is also the president of a seniors socialization centre, Tecumseh Golden Age Group.

"As soon as they can get this shot, we can get the virus under control, we can get back, not only to our own lives but as my members say from the club they can get back to cards, they need activity, they need to get out and see people," she said.

Based on recent changes to the province's priority listing for Phase 1 vaccine rollout, Pfeifer is next in line along with other seniors who are 80 years and older in the community.

Previously, they had to wait until Phase 2 — but the group now follows those in long-term care, high priority health workers and Indigenous adults in northern remote and higher risk communities.