WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says they are moving forward with Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors over 80 years old starting on Monday, March 1.

An online pre-registration system was released on Thursday. Family and friends of adults 80 years of age and older are encouraged to support their loved one(s) in pre-registering for an appointment.

For those unable to access the online system, help is available by contacting the WECHU’s pre-registration hotline at 519-251-4072.

"Due to expected call volumes initially, it may take multiple attempts to speak with a Windsor-Essex County Health Unit representative," said a news release from WECHU.

The vaccinations will take place at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, starting March 1 and the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington, starting on March 8.

These clinics are by appointment only and pre-registration is required.

The WECHU is continuing to vaccinate the priority population in Phase 1 of the three-phased vaccine distribution plan by the Government of Ontario and supported by the Windsor Essex County Vaccine Prioritization Committee.

“This COVID-19 vaccination milestone is occurring because of the continued partnership with Windsor Regional Hospital administering vaccine at the St. Clair College Sportsplex,” said the news release.

With about 20,000 residents of Windsor and Essex County representing the 80 years of age and older demographic, preparations have been underway to plan for this targeted vaccination clinic.

“The recent decision by the provincial government to include adults 80 years of age and older in Phase 1 of the Ontario vaccine distribution plan has significant implications for our region. Almost two third of the deaths related to COVID-19 occurred in Windsor and Essex was in adults 80 years or older,” said medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed.

The local death toll in Windsor-Essex related to COVID-19 is 378, including two new deaths of members of the community reported on Thursday.

“We are doing everything locally to work with our municipal and hospital partners to get our supply of vaccines administered as quickly and safely as possible,” said Ahmed.

WECHU hopes to inoculate 150 people on the first day and up to 200 per day after that, depending on the supply levels.

Windsor-Essex is one of the first regions in the province to start vaccinating members of the community over 80 years old. Online registration is also available in the Waterloo region. The province plans to launch its portal on March 15.