Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corp. Gives Approval for Vaccination Site in Tunnel


With thousands of expiring COVID-19 vaccines being tossed daily in Michigan, Windsor's mayor is getting creative.

At a meeting of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corporation Wednesday, the board unanimously approved closing the tunnel to set up a temporary vaccination site.

Drew Dilkens says it's a crazy idea, but it just may work with Canadians staying in Canada while American pharmacists administer the shots from the U.S. side.

He says a line will painted on the ground at the international border crossing.

"Actually get Canadians down to the centre line, receive the vaccine and then bring them back up top. There would be no need for the Canadians to quarantine, the license of the Michigan pharmacist is valid and we'd provide a nurse of a paramedic on our side to make sure that everyone is safe for the 15 minutes that they'd have to wait. We're prepared to do it if we have to."

Dilkens says it's a silly alternative to just shipping the vaccines across the border.

"I'm the first to admit, the most sensible thing is to get the doses that are being made available to us into the country. That's the optimal and that's the primary, preferred solution, but we can't get traction on that. Everyone is putting their head into the sand pretending that we haven't made the request. So we're looking at other alternatives."

He says it's all about doing whatever it takes to get back to normal.

"I want to be on the right side of history here and let's get this economy humming once again so that we don't lose momentum. I just can't put my head on the pillow and sleep at night thinking that they're throwing doses away in Detroit because they can't find arms to put them in. We have the arms."


Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens (Photo by CTV Windsor's Rich Garton)

Dilkens says, with approvals now in place in Canada, efforts shift to finding Michigan pharmacists willing to take part.

There's no shortage of interested Canadians — a wait list set up by the mayor's office now has nearly 6,000 residents willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from across the river.

Michigan has offered to donate surplus vaccines to Canada for the past number of weeks, but the federal government has not accepted the offer.