WINDSOR, ONT. -- The medical officer of health for the Windsor Essex County Health Unit says we can stop talking about COVID-19 all the time, when we reach a high level of herd immunity.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed says they would like to see at least 60 per cent of the population vaccinated against COVID-19.

Even then, Ahmed says it will only place the community in a “better spot.”

Ahmed would prefer to inoculate 80 or 90 percent of the people living here, because people won’t have to talk about COVID all the time.

“I think that will be the best day that we can think of, at this time, that we don’t have to talk about COVID, we can talk about else but COVID,” says Ahmed.

Medical experts around the world says herd immunity isn’t a specific number, rather a moving target to help protect residents.

Some experts believe herd immunity will start to take effect when 70 to 80 per cent of the population has been vaccinated.

“A total of 73,978 doses have been administered to Windsor Essex County residents,” according to Theresa Marentette, WECHU CEO.

There are 398,000 residents living in Windsor-Essex, 325,000 of which are eligible adults for the vaccine, according to stats provided by the WECHU.

Just to get to 60 per cent herd immunity, 239,000 people have to be vaccinated.

Herd immunity stats

So far, just 12,000 people are fully vaccinated, while 49,000 total have at least their first dose of vaccine.

Among them is Don and Brenda Brunelle of Windsor, Ont., vaccinated on March 24.

“I knew I was terrified of the illness but I don’t think I appreciated the fear, until after that needle went into my arm and then it was just tears flowing down my face, of relief,” says Brenda.

Husband Don says he was impressed with the smooth operation of the targeted vaccination clinic and they were in and out within half and hour, including the 15-minute wait after the shot.

He’s relieved to take a small step back towards normal, so he can visit with family again.

“Mainly because of the grandkids, you know. It’s been so long since we’ve seen them and we don’t want them to forget about us.”

On Thursday, WECHU reported 89.6 per cent of people aged 80 and above are now vaccinated.

Anyone born in 1946 or earlier can now register for a vaccine, at one of the regions’ targeted vaccination clinics.