WINDSOR, ONT. -- The region’s first public COVID-19 vaccine clinic started Monday with seniors 80 years and older rolling up their sleeves.

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit had six people every 15 minutes booked in at the WFCU Centre to receive the first round of their Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

“It’s a good atmosphere, I guess that’s the only way to describe it. It’s a good day in this pandemic,” said WECHU executive director Theresa Marentette.

Residents recevied their vaccine Monday by pre-registering online where they were then randomly selected for an appointment.

Marentette said there have been 11,300 people over the age of 80 who have pre-registered. The health unit has vaccine appointments already booked into Thursday.

The WECHU hopes to have between 150 to 200 residents vaccinated daily during the clinic which will operate Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., pending vaccine supply.

Currently, the health unit is receiving 1,950 Pfizer BioNTech vaccine doses a week.

“We don’t anticipate that this is the only option for people over 80 but it is the only option we have this week,” Marentette said.

Another targeted vaccination clinic for those 80 years and older is planned for next Monday, March 8 at the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington. Information on how to pre-register will be released closer to that date.

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

Marentette said she and medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Amhed are working on other avenues for increased access to vaccines for this population, however, it is dependent on vaccine supply which is currently limited.

“It’s pretty significant it’s pretty important for us, we want to make sure we vaccinate these people as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Ahmed.

There are about 20,000 people over the age of 80 living in Windsor-Essex. The health unit has completed vaccinations at all local long-term care and retirement homes which includes about 6,000 people. Since vaccinations started Dr. Ahmed said the outbreaks in LTC and retirement homes have gone down “significantly” with only two active as of Monday.