WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor-Essex residents 75 years old and older are being asked to be patient as the new COVID-19 vaccine booking system launches on Tuesday.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit website was down Tuesday morning as residents were anticipating the launch. Health unit officials say they expect booking to be available by noon and will share the direct link at that time.

For those unable to access the online system, help is available by calling 226-773-2200. Due to expected call volumes initially, WECHU says it may take multiple attempts to speak with a call centre representative

Health unit CEO Theresa Marentette says they are working hard to get the system up and running.

“Please be patient with us as we transition to this new system,” says Marentette.

She says there will no longer be a pre-registration of phone call.

“You’ll be able to book directly online, schedule your appointment at the location you want to attend for your vaccination site,” says Marentette.

Four local vaccination clinics will be prepared to welcome new eligible seniors once they have booked an appointment online through the WECHU portal.

Here are the four locations for eligible seniors to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment:

  • The Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) Centre Clinic
  • The Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre (NFFRC)
  • The St. Clair College SportsPlex
  • Windsor Hall

Vaccination clinics are by appointment only and walk-ins are not permitted.

Marentette said there are about 16,000 residents in the 75-plus category. She hopes most of those residents will get their first dose within the next few weeks, depending on supply.

The coverage rate for the 80-plus category is 82 per cent.

“It’s really pretty impressive and we’re celebrating,” says Marentette. “That’s quite good coverage right now.”

On Friday, the province also announced that effective Monday, eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine will be expanded to include adults 60-years-old and older. It was previously for adults 60 to 64.

Those interested in booking an appointment at any of the 57 Windsor and Essex County pharmacies as part of the provincial pilot program can contact a participating pharmacy directly.