Windsor public health sees quick uptake for 3rd dose COVID-19 vaccine bookings

·3 min read
The mass vaccination site in Windsor is located at Devonshire Mall. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)
The mass vaccination site in Windsor is located at Devonshire Mall. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)

Some Windsor-Essex residents are ready to roll up their sleeves once again to receive third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Nicole Dupuis, the CEO of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, said Thursday that the health unit is seeing a good response after opening up appointment registration to new groups including those 70 and older on Wednesday afternoon.

"For our mass vaccination site, availability has booked quickly," she said at a virtual media briefing on Thursday.

Those who are eligible have to make an appointment for a third dose, whereas those who want to receive a first or second dose can receive one on a walk-in basis at the Devonshire Mall mass vaccination site, Dupuis said.

"We are also holding spots to continue to ensure that those who haven't received their first dose or a second dose are still able to get in," she said.

Who's eligible for a third dose

Ontario's chief medical officer of health announced expanded eligibility for third doses on Wednesday, with the ability to book an appointment beginning Saturday for those in health units that use the provincial system. Windsor-Essex uses its own booking system and opened up registration early.

Previously, only some high-risk groups, including residents of long-term care, were eligible but the province said eventually everyone 12 and up who wants a third dose will be allowed to get one.

At this time, the local health unit says that to be eligible you need to have had your second dose at least six months ago, and fall under one of the following categories:

  • Those 70 and up (born in 1951 or earlier).

  • Health-care workers, including those at long-term care and retirement homes, and designated caregivers.

  • Indigenous people and those who live with someone who identifies as Indigenous.

  • Those who received two doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine or had received the single-dose Johnson and Johnson shot.

Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, the region's acting medical officer of health, stressed that the two initial doses provide a significant amount of protection and the priority is getting the estimated 55,000 eligible people who haven't gotten a shot to roll up their sleeves.

He also weighed in on the health unit's epidemiological data for the week, which was released Thursday.

The region's seven-day moving average was 22.6 new COVID-19 cases per day, and though the weekly case rate rose somewhat, the percentage of people who tested positive has fallen nearly a percentage point, from 3.6 per cent to 2.7 per cent.

"We think that based on the data that we have today that the burden of COVID-19 is about the same this week as it was the previous week," Nesathurai said.

WECHU announced Thursday one additional death related to the virus, that of a woman in her 60s. There were also 18 new cases of COVID-19 reported. Overall, there are 176 active cases in the community, and nine people are hospitalized.

There are 10 active outbreaks, including at the following three schools:

  • Princess Elizabeth Public School.

  • École Élémentaire Catholique Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

  • Vincent Massey Secondary School.

The remainder are taking place in community settings and workplaces:

  • One in an amusement and entertainment setting.

  • One in a congregate setting.

  • One in construction.

  • One in a correctional facility.

  • One in fitness and recreation.

  • One in manufacturing.

  • One at a religious organization.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting