WINDSOR, ONT. --
Within the first two days of receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, nearly 400 people in Windsor-Essex have received their first dose.
On Wednesday, David Musyj, the President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, said vaccinations had gone largely smoothly – although not without some hiccups.
"The complicating factor is as we’re booking homes some go into outbreak and we’ve worked with public health to come up with a risk stratification for those homes in outbreak that can now start booking some of their non-outbreak staff," said Musyj.
Close to 2,000 people are expected to be vaccinated as part of the first wave of inoculations.
Another round of doses is expected in the new year.
What is even better, Musyj believes Windsor-Essex could be in line for some of the first doses of the newly approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine which doesn’t have the same cold-storage requirements as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and can more easily reach more people.
"[The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine] efficacy is very good, 95 per cent, the issue is it’s difficult as people have to come to it to get vaccinated," said Musyj. "For the residents who cannot come to a facility and need to stay at home in their residence, that’s where the Moderna [vaccine] will benefit."
Musyj says the vaccines represent the "beginning of the end" of the pandemic – and is feeling even more optimistic about vaccines still in development.
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are other manufacturers working on vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.
"AstraZeneca will be better, as long as the efficacy is there. AstraZeneca is allowed to be kept in a regular fridge, still two doses but, in a regular fridge,” said Musyj. “When we get into [Johnson & Johnson], if the efficacy is high there, [Johnson & Johnson] is like an influenza vaccine, it’s one [dose] so, if the efficacy is there, [the Johnson & Johnson vaccine] is a game-changer."
Musyj calls the vaccination task in Windsor-Essex "monumental" with nearly 800,000 doses of the current vaccines required to vaccinate everyone in the region.
"What can happen is that vaccine is for the mass population," said Musyj. "If we can get there."