Windsor mayor launches wait-list website for U.S. vaccines

The mayor of Windsor, Ont., has launched a new wait-list website for local residents eligible and interested in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from Michigan.

Residents eligible for 2nd dose of Pfizer-BioNtech can sign up

Windsor, Ont., Mayor Drew Dilkens says he feels confident about the multiple pathways available to potentially gain access to vaccines from the U.S. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has launched a new website for local residents to sign up and wait for a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine from the U.S. 

In another attempt to gain access to the thousands of available vaccines Michigan has offered, Dilkens has begun taking names of interested and eligible residents in preparation for a cross-border solution to be finalized.  

"For the past few weeks, we've been trying to get these surplus vaccines from Michigan into Windsor-Essex to be able to get into arms, so they're not going into landfill," the southwestern Ontario mayor said. 

He said he is continuing to work on legal solutions that would expedite the vaccines to eligible Windsor-Essex residents, but one has not yet been confirmed. 

In a media release, Andrew Teliszewsky, the mayor's chief of staff, said the website is now live to allow local residents to register.

"As of today, we understand only Pfizer product is on offer from Detroit counterparts and thus, focus on securing second doses for Canadians who have already received their first shot from a domestic source," he said in a release.

He said while the province announced Friday a pathway for a second dose of vaccine through local public health, every additional dose from Michigan would help move the area's rollout along faster, possibly allowing vaccines meant for Windsor-Essex to be redeployed elsewhere in Ontario.

Mayor offers U.S. vaccine ideas

Dilkens has offered a number of possible solutions to Ottawa, including busing residents across the border to get vaccinated or a drive-thru clinic on the Ambassador Bridge.

The federal government has told Dilkens to concentrate on getting the Pfizer vaccine from this side of the border, but said he is confident a solution will be made. 

"I feel very confident that we have multiple pathways available to us. Anyone of them could click at any time."