WINDSOR, ONT. -- The clock is ticking for youth in Windsor-Essex to get vaccinated and benefit from full protection from COVID-19 prior to the school year.

To help the cause, a series of vaccine pop-ups are planned this week across Windsor-Essex.

“The health unit has graphics on who has been vaccinated and who has not, so we’re trying to hit the neighbours hoods that have the least vaccination percentages for the 12-17 and older,” says Todd Awender, the superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board.

According to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, the 12-17 age group continues to lag behind the rest of the population for first and second doses.

As of Friday, 51.7 per cent of that demographic has received their first shot, while only 21.9 per cent have received their second jab.

“I strongly strongly urge parents to get their children vaccinated to make sure there is no interruption to the education system,” says medical officer of health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed. “Any kind of outbreak, any kind of disruption in the system would be devastating for them.”

Cassie Murphy, a Grade 10 student at Villanova came to Frank W. Begley today to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I got my shot to get things back to normal, to open things up so I can go back to school, to play hockey, so things open up more and to feel safe,” Murphy says.

But time is running out — for other students and educators who want to get their shots before the school year begins.

A first shot on July 20 — then again 28 days later — will have eligible recipients double vaccinated and protected by the end of August, just a week ahead of Labour Day.

While the vaccine remains voluntary, officials are encouraging youth to visit one of the pop-ups this week or next to protect themselves and the community.

“That’s our goal. We want all our kids back in schools — that’s what we’re pushing for, that’s what we hope for, that’s what we hope the future is going to be in September,” says Awender.

POP-UP CLINICS:

Here’s a listing of where you can get your shots, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. over the next two weeks:

  • * Tuesday, July 20 – Windsor – Frank W. Begley Public School
  • * Wednesday, July 21 – Windsor – William G. Davis Public School
  • * Thursday, July 22 – Lakeshore – Centennial Central Public School
  • * Friday, July 23 – Windsor – Assumption College Catholic
  • * Tuesday, July 27 – Windsor – William G. Davis Public School
  • * Wednesday, July 28 – Leamington – Queen Elizabeth Public School
  • * Thursday, July 29 – Date and location to be determined
  • * Friday, July 30 – Windsor – Assumption College Catholic
  • * Saturday, July 31 – Windsor – Frank W. Begley Public School