WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor-Essex residents 40 years old and over will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at local pharmacies starting on Tuesday.

The Ontario government announced Sunday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered to the new age group in pharmacies and primary care settings.

“There are people out there that want the shot,” pharmacist Tim Brady says. “More people want it than don’t which is good.”

He says as of Sunday night, Brady’s drug store had about 180 doses of vaccine on hand. The batch was spoken for before noon Monday with news the AstraZeneca vaccine would be open to a younger age bracket.

As the age group expands, Brady encourages residents to make multiple appointments.

“Go wherever you can get the shot,” he says. “Put your name on but common courtesy that if you do get through and you do get a shot just call the other store and them know they can pull you name off. That’ll open a spot for somebody else.

Brady’s Drug Store currently has a waiting list of 1,700. While one Shoppers Drug Mart had a 700 person waiting list.

Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Monday residents should take the first available vaccine.

“It is important that everyone should get the first vaccine that’s available to us,” said Ahmed.

There have been growing calls for the provincial government to make the vaccine more widely available as Ontario continues to see record numbers in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations amid a third wave that is mainly driven by variants of concern.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently available only to adults aged 55 and older following the recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

It is in response to cases of younger people developing rare blood clots after receiving the shot. On Saturday, Alberta reported that a patient who got the AstraZeneca vaccine developed a condition called a vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia. It is the second case of the rare blood clot disorder in Canada.

“If you have any questions or concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of these vaccine, please continue to visit credible websites for accurate information or talk to your health care provider,” Ahmed says.

Despite the two cases, Health Canada maintained that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks of getting COVID-19. The agency approved the use of the vaccine for those 18 years old and over.

“The benefit clearly outweighs the risk associated with the vaccine,” says Ahmed.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit does not know the allotment of AstraZeneca for the region, since it is going directly to pharmacies and primary care providers.

According to Brady, Windsor-Essex could receive about 15,000 doses as early as Tuesday.

Eligible residents can book appointments by contacting one of the participating pharmacies.

With files from CTV Windsor's Melanie Borrelli, Bob Bellacicco and CP24’s Bryann Aguilar.