Windsor Regional Hospital received its second shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, which can inoculate about 1,500 people.
The first shipment, which arrived Dec. 21, 2020, allowed for just under 2,000 people to be vaccinated with two doses. The second shipment allows for vaccination of approximately 1,500 people with two doses.
WRH officials said they started vaccinating individuals within 12 hours of getting the green light to start vaccination.
“Following provincial direction, WRH has been putting vaccines into arms and not holding back on the second doses. This assumes there will be a regular supply of vaccines to Windsor Regional Hospital,” said a statement from WRH.
As of the end of the day on Monday, WRH has vaccinated just under 3,000 people. On this pace, hospital officials say if it wasn’t for today's delivery, the hospital would have exhausted all of its first shipment by the end of Wednesday.
"Although this tests your nerves to use all the vaccines up, the goal is to not have vaccines in freezers but in people's arms. That is the marching orders from our General Rick Hillier, the head of the Vaccination Task Force, and we will follow it without question. It is the right thing to do," said WRH CEO David Musyj.
Musyj said he talked to General Rick Hillier, who is heading the Vaccine Task Force.
“He stated being on the defense in a war - a war on COVID-19 - is stressful, depressing and tiring,” said Hillier. “It is hard to motivate the troops when just trying to stay alive. Now with the vaccine, we are on the offensive. It is exhilarating. Energizing and motivating. We need to keep this energy as we continue this war and hopefully turn the tables on COVID-19 and beat this enemy."
Windsor Regional Hospital is vaccinating 500 people a day focusing on the priority groups set by the province.
The hospital has capacity to vaccinate 1,000 people a day, but cannot achieve that until supply from the federal government to Ontario and Windsor increases.
"As a province and hospital we are doing all we can do to get vaccines into people’s arms. We need supply to increase in order to vaccinate more," Musyj said.