WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says about 7,000 eligible residents over 80 years old pre-registered to get a COVID-19 vaccine on the first day it was available.

Health unit CEO Theresa Marentette says they were surprised how quickly residents pre-registered when the link went live on Thursday at 1 p.m.

“Within an hour we had at least 800 people pre-registered,” says Marentette.

In total, 8,400 people pre-registered, but 1,400 of those were deemed not eligible at this time.

“Our epidemiologists are currently reviewing the information and preparing the selection process for Monday’s clinic,” says Marentette.

Members of the community are able to pre-resister through WECHU’s online portal or by calling 519-251-4072.

The inoculations for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will start on Monday, March 1 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor and at the Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre in Leamington, starting on March 8.

These clinics are by appointment only and pre-registration is required. Registration is not on a first-come, first serve basis. Once a form is reviewed and the individual is selected, the health unit will contact the resident by phone to book an appointment.