WRH CEO asks Feds to Clarify Whether COVID-19 Vaccines are Essential


Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) wants to know if Health Canada considers a COVID-19 vaccine medically necessary.

"If getting vaccinated for COVID-19 isn't an essential medical service, I don't know what is," says WRH CEO David Musyj.

Musyj put in an official request to clarify the vaccine's status on Friday, as medically essential procedures are currently exempt from border restrictions.

He tells AM800 News the government simply needs to say yes and Windsor-Essex can tap into a surplus in Michigan.

"We're not asking them to re-write anything or come up with a new policy ... we're using existing wording that they've already agreed upon and we just want to make sure it fits within that wording," he added.

Musyj says he's already received a verbal commitment to tap into a supply.

"I've already reached out to an agency in the Michigan area that indicated to me to give them a call," he says. "I have them on speed dial and they will start vaccinating our residents immediately."

Mayor Drew Dilkens floated the idea of crossing the border using Transit Windsor buses after pharmacists who work in Michigan and live in Essex County said vaccines were going to waste.

Busing residents to a location and bringing them straight back will ensure they don't have to quarantine for 14 days under the current rules, according to Musyj.

"Arguably some people don't even have to get off the bus if they don't want to and the vaccinator can come on the bus so they don't even have to step on U.S. soil," he says. 

Musyj says a response to this type of enquiry usually takes more than a month, but officials with Health Canada assured him the request has been prioritized.

He hopes to hear back from officials in the coming days and put a cross-border vaccination-plan in motion immediately.