Moderna COVID-19 vaccine coming to Windsor-Essex, seniors' homes

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be administered at long-term care and retirement homes in Windsor-Essex starting next week

Health unit says vaccinations expected to start on Monday

The Moderna vaccine is shown in a file photo. (Eduardo Munoz/Pool/Reuters)

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be administered at long-term care and retirement homes in Windsor-Essex starting next week.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, said the Moderna vaccine is expected to arrive Wednesday for an anticipated rollout on Monday.

"It will help us to protect our most vulnerable in the population," he said.

The vaccine arrived in Windsor Wednesday and will be used to vaccine 50 per cent of all long-term care and retirement home residents. 

Its arrival comes as 16 of the region's 44 retirement facilities are in outbreak. More than 500 residents and staff have tested positive for the virus in the current outbreaks, and 79 long-term care and retirement home residents in the region have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Ontario is expected to receive an initial 50,000 doses of the newly approved vaccine. Windsor-Essex has been designated a priority for vaccination because of its high case rates.

Ahmed couldn't say exactly how much of the vaccine is on its way to the region.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, WECHU's medical officer of health, appears in a file photo. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Homes will be prioritized for vaccination based on risk, Ahmed explained, and the vaccine will be administered at homes not experiencing an outbreak first.

COVID-19 vaccinations in the region started last week at the St. Clair College Sportsplex, with the Pfizer-BioNtech shot available to seniors' home staff only.

The Moderna product doesn't need to be stored at as low of a temperature. It can be taken to seniors' facilities directly, Ahmed explained.

Vaccination is voluntary for residents, and a second dose is required at a later date.

163 new cases of COVID-19

While Windsor has some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the province, numbers of new cases appear to have plateaued, Ahmed said.

The health unit reported 163 new cases on Wednesday, with 7,374 cases overall. Just over 1,800 cases remain active.

There are 42 outbreaks active in the region.

Snapshot of the pandemic in Windsor-Essex

Of the new cases announced Wednesday, 34 are connected to outbreaks, two are close contacts of confirmed cases and 125 are still being investigated by the health unit.

There are 90 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 19 in ICU. In addition, there are 130 suspected cases in hospital.

Though students are on holiday break, outbreaks are active at three schools, St. Rose Catholic Elementary, which was declared on Wednesday, Immaculate Conception Catholic School and St. Mary French Immersion Catholic Elementary School.

There are also three hospital outbreaks, one at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and two on different floors at Windsor Regional Hospital's Met campus.

Four community settings — Salvation Army Center of Hope, Manor Lodge House, Victoria Manor Supportive Living and Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario — are also in active outbreak.

Outbreaks are active at 17 workplaces

  • Six in Leamington's agriculture sector
  • Four in Kingsville's agriculture sector
  • One in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector
  • One in Essex's health care and social assistance sector
  • One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector
  • One in Tecumseh's health care and social assistance sector
  • One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector
  • One in Windsor's food and beverage service sector
  • One in a personal service setting in LaSalle

There are 16 COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes: 

  • Chateau Park in Windsor with three staff cases
  • Leamington Mennonite Home in Leamington with three staff cases. 
  • Riverside Place in Windsor with three staff cases. 
  • Brouillette Manor in Windsor with one staff case. 
  • Augustine Villas in Kingsville with six resident and two staff cases. 
  • Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor with four resident cases and four staff cases. 
  • Huron Lodge in Windsor with 27 resident cases and eight staff cases. 
  • Chartwell Classic Oak Park LaSalle with one staff case.
  • Sun Parlour Home in Leamington with five staff cases.
  • Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor with 44 resident cases and 26 staff cases.
  • The Shoreview at Riverside with seven resident cases and five staff cases.
  • Extendicare Tecumseh in Tecumseh with 51 resident cases and 21 staff cases.
  • Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor with 45 resident and 41 staff cases.
  • The Village at St. Clair in Windsor with 115 resident cases and 74 staff cases.
  • Chartwell St. Clair Beach in Tecumseh with 53 resident cases and 12 staff cases.
  • Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh with seven resident cases and seven staff cases.


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