Despite the province’s new COVID-19 vaccine registration system, Windsor-Essex residents age 80 and older should continue signing up for the jab through the local health unit.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit on Sunday announced local seniors must pre-register for immunization by visiting the health unit’s website (wechu.org) or by calling 519-251-4072.
The Ontario government launched its provincewide vaccine registration platform on Monday for regions where no local booking system was already in place. The local health unit launched its pre-registration system on Feb. 25.
Any Windsor-Essex resident who attempts to pre-register for vaccination through the provincial system will be re-directed to the local system.
Once residents of Windsor and Essex County 80 years of age and older provide their information in the local pre-registration form, individuals will be randomly selected and then contacts to book their appointment for the shot.
Currently, residents can be immunized at either the Windsor Family Credit Unit (WFCU) Centre clinic in Windsor or the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre clinic in Leamington.
Beginning the week of March 22, two new vaccination clinics will open for seniors at the St. Clair College SportsPlex and the University of Windsor’s Windsor Hall (the former Windsor Star building) at the corner of Pitt and Ferry Streets.
The health unit anticipates that most of the more than 15,000 pre-registrants age 80 and older will be booked to receive their first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine by the end of March. Eligible residents who have not yet pre-registered for a COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to do so.
The next group to be vaccinated will likely be those ages 75 and older, though registration for those individuals has not yet begun.
As of Monday, there have been more than 44,000 vaccine doses administered in Windsor-Essex, including first and second doses, since the first jab was administered on Dec. 22 by Windsor Regional Hospital.
Eligible adults aged 60 to 64 are able to book vaccine appointments through 57 select local pharmacies, which are currently administering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine.