New vaccinations by Windsor hospital will stall in 2 weeks unless region receives more supply
The hospital could more than double the number of shots, but vaccines are limited
Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj is warning that unless the vaccine allotment for the region increases, the hospital will not be able to vaccinate additional people in the community from Jan. 24 until mid-February.
The three-week stall will arise, said Musyj, because the hospital will only have enough to be able to administer the second dose to anyone who has already received the first dose.
"We're going to still vaccinate, but it's going to be to the arms we vaccinated 21 days ago," Musyj said at Windsor Regional Hospital's virtual board meeting Thursday evening.
But between now and Jan. 24, he said the plan is to have all long-term care and retirement home staff as well as Indigenous high risk and hospital staff vaccinated.
News of a stall comes as Windsor-Essex continues to see some of its highest case and death rates from COVID-19.
And those numbers aren't expected to slow down any time soon.
Musyj said Windsor-Essex's COVID-19 hospitalization rate is climbing above what was previously projected and will continue to do so.
At Windsor Regional specifically, Musyj said as of Thursday, there are 57 COVID-19 positive inpatients. Based on projections, that number is likely to more than double by end of February.
At that rate, Musyj said the hospital will exceed its bed capacity by about 20. He said it has already prepared for this by cancelling non-elective surgeries and transferring patients to other regional hospitals.
So far, about 62 of the hospital's patients have been sent elsewhere — with a majority at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare and others in Sarnia, Chatham and London.
"We are ready for what's coming over a month and a half from now, we have to be ready for that ... if not worse," he said. "And those are the steps we are taking now to make sure we are ready for that."
These numbers don't take into account the immunizations, but Musyj said even if they did, it wouldn't really impact them as the region won't have a significant portion of its population vaccinated at that point.
It may prevent cases in long-term care homes though, which Musyj said would help.
"Right now, it's difficult, we're coping, a month, two months from now it's going to be very difficult and we haven't seen the worst yet of what we're facing," he said.
Able to double shots, but need more vaccines
From this week until the end of January, Musyj said the hospital is expected to receive 3,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week — enough to inoculate 1,500 people.
For now, Windsor Regional Hospital is vaccinating approximately 500 people per day during the week, and another 180 on the weekends. Musyj said if more vaccinations were available, it would be able to more than double the daily shots.
But, a lack of supply has restricted it.
"We could double, but what's holding us back? Vaccines. We don't have them," he said.
"We will continue to advocate for more vaccines ... we continue to advocate especially as Windsor-Essex and where we've been at with respect to this virus and the impact on our region I've been trying to strongly advocate for our region to get a bigger proportion of the share of vaccines."
As of Thursday, Musyj said it has done almost all long-term care and retirement home staff that want the vaccine as well as 60 per cent of congregate care staff, which will be fully done in the next seven to 10 days.
Between 10 to 15 per cent of hospital staff from Windsor Regional Hospital, Erie Shores and Hotel Dieu have also been vaccinated.
By April, Musyj said the region can expect to see supply meet demand.
"We're going to go from famine to feast," he said. "And we got to be ready for that."