Windsor-Essex health unit welcomes new eligibility for fourth doses

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Locally and provincially, more people can now receive fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

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In step with the Ontario government, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced Thursday that people ages 60 and older can now book appointments for their fourth dose.

The expanded eligibility also allows fourth doses for adults (ages 18 and older) of indigenous descent — First Nation, Inuit, and Metis.

Non-indigenous adults who live in the same household as an indigenous person are also eligible.

All recipients of fourth doses must have at least five months (140 days) to have elapsed since their third dose.

The health unit advised that those seeking to book fourth-dose appointments should contact their primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.

With the closure of the mass vaccination site at the Devonshire Mall last weekend, health unit CEO Nicole Dupuis said the focus of vaccine delivery has shifted to pharmacies.

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“We do know that for this age group … about 50 per cent of their third doses were administered through pharmacies,” Dupuis pointed out. “We’re lucky to have a really robust pharmacy structure in Windsor-Essex.”

Pop-up vaccination clinics will continue to be held across the region. The offices of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (1005 Ouellette Ave.) will begin hosting a daily clinic starting Monday, April 11.

Attendance of the clinic is by appointment only. Book online via wevax.ca or call 519-258-2146 ext. 4500. Callers are asked to have their Health Card handy.

Also visit wevax.ca for a list of other participating vaccination locations.

Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, the region’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, said that with the expansion of eligibility, about 100,000 residents of Windsor-Essex are now able to receive a fourth dose, and he expects eligibility will be further expanded to younger age groups in the future.

“We have to learn to live with COVID,” Nesathurai said. “It’s likely we’re going to (need) an infrastructure to vaccinate people on a routine basis — just like we do with the flu vaccine.”


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