Parents can book vaccination appointment for young children now

COVID-19 Vaccinations. Photo courtesy of CKPH.

Starting Monday, parents can begin booking an appointment to get their children five to 11 vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit expects to receive its first shipment this week after the province ordered over one-million doses from the federal government.

Appointments can be booked online or by calling 226-773-2200.  The first available appointments at the mass vaccination clinic at Devonshire Mall are on Thursday.

The local health unit is uncertain how much it will get in that first shipment, but Acting Medical Officer of Health Doctor Shanker Nesathurai doesn’t anticipate any supply issues.

“What we have heard up to this point is that the province has ordered more than enough vaccine for all the people who are eligible. I don’t expect we’ll have any supply chain issues,” he said.

There are more than 33,000 children in Windsor-Essex between the ages of five and 11.

CEO Nicole Dupuis said the health unit has been preparing for some time for the rollout.

“We are ready to go,” she said. “All of our partners we have been prepping with, certainly our mass vaccination site has been preparing.”

The vaccine will also be available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies. Dupuis said the health unit might hold clinics at schools too.

“In August through September, we did work with our school board partners to offer COVID-19 vaccinations at schools,” said Dupuis. “Right now, we have multiple priorities. We have our regular school-based vaccinations that we’re trying to catch up on. That would be the school-based vaccinations that were delayed because we were not able to get to them in 2020, so our team is actively out in schools right now.”

On Monday, the health unit reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 over the past three days. There were 38 cases on Saturday, 58 on Sunday, and 22 on Monday.

Fifty-eight people caught the virus through close contact with a previously confirmed infection. Another 27 people were infected in the community. Three were travel-related, while five were outbreak-related, and public health officials continue to investigate the origin of 25 others.

There are 346 active cases in Windsor-Essex, and 17 people are in the hospital with COVID-19.

There are 29 outbreaks across the region, including in six schools, but just one, St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School in Windsor, is closed. Twenty are either in workplaces or in the community, three are at retirement or long-term care homes, and one continues at the Ouellette Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital.

Across Ontario, the province reported 627 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death. There are now 5,597 active cases.