Windsor-Essex could Tap into Vaccines going to Waste in Michigan


Windsor-Essex is at the mercy of supply and demand when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, so Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens wants to tap into a surplus stateside.

Dilkens says several pharmacists who live in Windsor and work as essential staff in the U.S.  have reached out to him in recent weeks to tell him there's plenty of vaccine that's literally going to waste.

He says pharmacists are telling him vials aren't being completely used because many in the U.S. have already received their second dose or are turning down the shot.

"When they pierce a vile it's good for five hours before they have to waste it," he says.

Dilkens tells AM800 News that Transit Windsor can be used to bring people across the border to use up those open vials and get them home with little to no risk of exposure.

"It's not that we're begging for the vaccine from Michigan, they're calling us saying, 'we've got it and we want to give it to you, just get the bodies over here,'" he says. "I know this will not be an easy hurdle to overcome, but all one needs to do is look at the model between North Dakota and Manitoba for the pathway on how this could happen."

He says the agreement is already in place between Manitoba and North Dakota will work in Windsor-Essex.

"The prime minister and the team has removed the quarantine barrier for teachers to be able to cross the border from Manitoba into North Dakota to get vaccinated and return home without a quarantine," he says. "If they can do that down here, almost overnight we can vaccinate 2,000 individuals from our community."

Dilkens says cutting through the red tape to cross the border will be difficult.

"Getting the buses and getting them over there is the simple part, we just need the immediate co-operation of all levels of government to make this happen," he says.

He says city officials have already reached out to upper levels of government and he hopes to have an answer in the coming weeks.

Canadian truck drivers travelling through North Dakota are also being offered a vaccine. Windsor-West MP Brian Masse has also been pushing the federal government for a similar initiative in Ontario.