More AstraZeneca Vaccine Available in Windsor-Essex

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More doses of AstraZeneca are available in Windsor-Essex.

According to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, there are 6,060 doses available through what they have received, plus 3,000 additional doses that Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies have received directly from the province.

For those who received AstraZeneca as their first dose and don't want it for their second, health unit CEO Theresa Marentette says booking will open up on June 7.

"We just received the confirmation from the ministry and the provincial booking system will open June 7," she says. "We'll align with the provincial booking system so we'll aim for that as well and create that pathway."

Marentette says first doses of a Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines remain available at the mass vaccination clinics as well as some pharmacies and physicians office. "Select pharmacies continue to offer second doses of AstraZeneca, please visit WECHU.org for a list of pharmacies," she adds.

Because of the delay in receiving AstraZeneca vaccines from the government, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says it's no problem if AstraZeneca recipients get their second dose outside of the suggested 12-week time frame.

"This particular vaccine, the way it works, delaying the dose up to 12 weeks it basically helps to boost the response," he says. "So it's not necessarily something bad if someone is receiving the vaccine after 12 weeks."

More than 37,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been distributed across the region.

Under guidance released by the province Thursday,  AstraZeneca recipients can have the second dose of the same vaccine or receive a dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed had previously said he was waiting for the provincial guidance for more clear recommendations.