Health officials consider locations for possible mass-vaccination site
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The wheels are in motion for a Windsor-Essex plan about where and when potential mass COVID-19 vaccination sites may be.
“One option could be that they all come to the Sportsplex and that’s where they get the vaccine. We’re also working with our municipalities to set up those mass vaccination sites even at a smaller level, not a high level,” said Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed.
It was reported Tuesday the city is looking at the WFCU centre as a possible location for a mass vaccination clinic, but nothing has been confirmed yet, Essex County warden and health unit board chair Gary McNamara says.
“Nothing’s been set in stone yet including the WFCU, it might, might be,” he says.
Public officials say it will be some time yet, and talks aren’t expected to get serious about when and where until mass vaccine shipments arrive in the region.
“Supply of the vaccines are critical,” McNamara says.
He tells CTV News officials are meeting Wednesday to determine where demand is most critical.
“When you look at areas of congregate living whether it’s the agri-sector or areas in the downtown we’ve seen obviously what’s happening with the downtown mission,” McNamara says.
McNamara believes mass drive-thru sites, similar to those in the United States, will not come to fruition locally.
“If the numbers are to be equal to what it is said today, mass centres is not the answer,” he says. “Obviously if we’re getting 4,000 doses of Pfizer a week, to have a facility where you can handle 10,000 a day, it doesn’t make much sense.”
Dr. Ahmed also said they haven’t had any plans to open up a drive-thru option.
“We don’t have a that big of a facility like Canada’s Wonderland that York has,” he said.
Officials north of Toronto say they are exploring Canada’s Wonderland as a possible drive-thru site, but Dr. Ahmed says the plan locally is appointment-based only.
“In the future, when maybe the weather starts to improve and when we may have more vaccines and more ability to administer, we can look into it, but at this time that’s not under consideration,” he says.
Windsor Regional Hospital received its fourth shipment of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday, and says more than 7,000 people have received their first dose since December. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has also been going into long-term care homes with the Moderna vaccine for residents and some staff.