First supply of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Windsor-Essex
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The first supply of COVID-19 vaccinations has arrived in Windsor-Essex.
The limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to the St. Clair College Sportsplex Monday morning, “amid significant police and security presence.”
“This is an exciting time in our community as we receive the initial supply of long-awaited doses to vaccinate against the COVID-19 virus," said Windsor Regional Hospital president and CEO David Musyj. "We know this is just the start, and that initial vaccinations will be limited. However, like all communities across Canada, we look forward to the opportunities next year to bring vaccinations to individuals across Windsor-Essex."
The vaccine is now stored in freezers at -80C which the hospital says is the temperature required for the vaccine storage until prepared for inoculation.
The Pfizer vaccine cannot be transported from its initial delivery site, so individuals will need to be vaccinated at the Sportsplex.
Musyj says there is enough for just under 2,000 people to be vaccinated.
“We can do upwards of 40 individuals every 30 minutes. So we can do a considerable amount of people,” he said.
The vaccine will require two doses to be administered a few weeks apart.
The hospital says staff will be going over final training and preparations Monday for initial vaccinations Tuesday.
While the St. Clair College Sportsplex will be used as the vaccine centre, the hospital says this does not necessarily mean future potential use of the same site as the field hospital should the need arise.
“Given the size and technical specifications of the facility, we would be able to run a segregated vaccination area as well as a field hospital for active patients without impacting either operation," Musyj said.
The Ontario government is first focusing on employees who work in long term care and retirement homes in grey and red zone regions to first receive the vaccine.
Employees are being independently scheduled for their vaccine, the hospital says.
As more vaccines become available, Windsor Regional Hospital and the health unit will continue to follow the provincial government’s priority groups which focuses on:
- Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings (e.g., long-term care homes and retirement homes) that provide care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection and serious illness from COVID-19
- Health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel
- Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities where the risk of transmission is high
- Adult recipients of chronic home health care.
Both the Windsor Essex County Health Unit and WRH will continue to finalize vaccine rollout with the Province of Ontario and will offer more information about vaccine supply as details become available.
Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says to speak with your health care provider before taking the vaccine.
“Side effects with this virus is similar to any other vaccine. it includes pain at the sight of injection, body chills, feeling tired and feverish,” he said.
Krista Wahby, a LaSalle resident who works at Harper Hospital in Detroit received her COVID-19 shot on Friday.
“Other than just the routine little bit of muscle pain in the shoulder, I’ve had zero side effects whatsoever,” she said.
Wahby, a critical care pharmacy specialist at the hospital, said she feels the vaccine is “one step to getting back to some kind of normalcy.”
Health officials hope to have a steady supply of vaccines in the coming weeks, and expect the vaccination to be available to the public by spring 2021.
“We can see some light at the end of the tunnel, but again the tunnel is very long," medical officer of health Ahmed said. "We still have to be patient with all these vaccines that are coming in with ample supply and distribution to get into the hands of the people. And it will take a few months but at least it’s a start.".
Information regarding Ontario’s priority groups is available on the Ontario government's website.
- With files from CTV Windsor's Angelo Aversa