PHOTOS: Here’s What To Expect When You’re Vaccinated At The WFCU Centre

Wednesday March 3rd, 2021

Posted at 11:29am

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Windsor’s first COVID-19 vaccination centre for the general public opened earlier this week for people eighty years of age and older. Here’s a look inside the operation and what you can expect when it’s your turn to receive a vaccine.

If you have an appointment, you’ll make your way to the WFCU Centre and pass through the roundabout.

Near the entrance, before parking, you’ll stop for a drive-thru symptom screening questionnaire. You’ll receive a wristband if you pass the screening, then you can proceed to park.

The next step is to line up (physically distanced) at the tented area outside of Gate 1.

You’ll then enter through the tent to the community rinks side of the WFCU Centre.

Once in the lobby, staff and volunteers will direct you to one of four registration desks where you’ll provide your Health Card. You’ll then be directed to the one community rink currently in use for vaccinating.

Once in the rink, you’ll be asked to wait until a vaccination station is ready.

Health Unit CEO Theresa Marentette stands in front of the vaccination area. Several stations are set up to handle patients simultaneously. Marentette says they’re currently vaccinating six people every fifteen minutes and will be expanding that to nine people starting Thursday.

Here’s where your vaccination will take place.

After receiving the shot, you’ll be asked to wait fifteen minutes in this area in case of an adverse reaction.

Those requiring a little more privacy while they wait will be offered a secluded area with curtains.

Behind the scenes: this is where the Pfizer vaccine vials are stored. Health Unit CEO Theresa Marentette says trays of vials are delivered here each day from freezers at the Health Unit. They’re then defrosted, mixed, and prepared as individual shots.

After you’ve waited fifteen minutes, you’ll follow the path out of the rink area and through a dedicated exit to the parking lot.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health speaks to the media.

While the Health Unit is presently vaccinating only 169 people per day at the WFCU Centre, officials say that’s expected to change soon, as it’s based on supply.

“We know that the doses are coming,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens during a media briefing that followed a tour of the facility. “With the additional Astra Zenica vaccine approved, and maybe Johnson & Johnson over the next few weeks, doses will be here en masse.”

Health Unit CEO Theresa Marentette says the City of Windsor has offered the entire WFCU Centre facility for use when more doses are delivered locally. The other ice pads will be used, and she says the City and the Health Unit have worked extensively on plans for using the facility efficiently.

“We’ve talked about every number, what it would look like, to get 800 people here, 1,000 people,” she said. “We can ramp it up.”

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health for Windsor Essex says they will eventually increase the number of daily vaccinations with more vaccination stations. He says the Health Unit has found they can also increase the number of daily vaccinations by reducing the time taken to vaccinate each per person from fifteen minutes to ten minutes.

Dr. Ahmed says the Health Unit will also scale up vaccinations to include other vaccination centres locally when vaccine supply increases. He says they’re planning for a second Windsor location, and a second county site in addition to the Leamington location that will open next week.

“It’s all subject to the vaccine supply,” he said. “If we suddenly, somehow get a large amount of vaccine coming our way, we do have the capacity to work with the municipalities to open up other sites.”

For now, Marentette says the Health Unit will be receiving 1,950 doses per week for the next few weeks and those doses will be split between the WFCU Centre and the Leamington location.

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