Health unit gives update on Phase 2 vaccination plan in Windsor-Essex

The mass vaccination clinic at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg, March 29, 2021. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit is providing more clarification on what Phase 2 of the vaccination plan will look like locally.

Currently, all appointments at local vaccine clinics are completely booked until the end of the day on Monday, April 12.

When appointment slots open up, they will be available for residents 60 and older and for residents 50 and over in targeted areas identified by the provincial government. Those areas include addresses with postal codes starting with N8X, N8Y, N9A, N9B, N9C, N8H, and N9Y.

“These are provided to us from the province through different metrics and indicators that they’ve used. But, it is consistent with what we see locally, and what we have prioritized in other strategies,” said CEO and Chief Nursing Officer Theresa Marentette.

The clinics also continue to vaccinate individuals with health conditions identified as high risk or at-risk by the provincial government. These individuals are referred by their primary health care provider and will be contacted to make an appointment.

The health unit advises anyone who believes they have a health condition as identified by the vaccine guidance documents to contact their primary health provider.

“The people that are on the list as high risk or highest risk population. If they aren’t aware they should definitely be talking to their primary health care providers. That would be the best avenue for people,” said Marentette.

The health unit is also working with local farms to finalize a plan to vaccinate the temporary foreign workers in the community. That is expected to get underway in the next couple of weeks.

“We’re thinking about the logistics knowing that we still have a very limited vaccine in our community,” said Marentette. “We’re not really seeing an increase in vaccines at this time. Until the middle of May, the supply is basically the same. So it’s balancing the age groups, we know we’re making good progress there, and these other prioritized groups.”

Plans to vaccinate other essential worker groups identified by the province in phase two of the vaccination rollout plan are also underway.

“I think you will see some movement in different groups and it will rollout as best we can. It won’t satisfy everybody because as you’ve seen the essential workers that cannot work from home, there are two different categories with the first group and the second group, but they are all important and that’s where it gets a little difficult, and there’s still the same amount of vaccine,” said Marentette.

To date, 92,752 people or 20 per cent of the population in Windsor-Essex have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“It’s a great start, I think there are some age groups that can be improved upon as we have more access to vaccines,” said Marentette.

Overall, 66 per cent of all adults aged 60 and older in Windsor Essex have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Broken down further, 88 per cent of adults 80 and older, 80 per cent of adults 75-79, 66.5 per cent of adults 70-74, 41 per cent of adults 65-69, and 55 per cent of adults 60-64 have received an initial dose of the vaccine.

For more information on the local vaccine rollout plan visit wevax.ca.