WECHU has early COVID-19 vaccine hopes for Windsor-Essex
In this file photo, a nurse holds a phial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
WINDSOR. ONT. -- The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is hoping this region is on the government's radar to receive COVID-19 vaccines early when they are ready to roll out in Canada.
WECHU medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says the region should receive priority to stem the spread of the virus.
“With the vaccine rollout identifying priority area, we will be ready to deliver the vaccine as soon as it's delivered to us,” says Ahmed. “Please make no mistake, it will still be months before we can talk about removing COVID-related measures."
Ahmed says this region has unique challenges, such as the number of temporary foreign workers and the border.
Six-thousand workers cross the border every day into Michigan. Ahmed points out that area has case rates 67 times high than Windsor-Essex.
Ontario prepares to receive its initial doses of the vaccine in the coming weeks.
The province has said it plans to offer the vaccine first to vulnerable seniors, their caregivers and health-care workers.
It will also be prioritizing the rollout of the vaccine in regions with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection. Government officials have not released specific details of when Windsor-Essex will see its first doses.
Windsor Regional Hospital has seven freezers ready on-site for when the vaccine does arrive in the region.
Retired Gen. Rick Hiller, who is leading Ontario's vaccine task force, said the province will receive 2.4 million doses -- allowing it to vaccinate 1.2 million people -- during the first three months of 2021.
With files from The Canadian Press.