The Windsor Regional Hospital has applied for a special Health Canada program that would allow it to receive vaccine doses from neighbouring Michigan. Officials in Windsor and the Windsor General Hospital have applied under the Health Canada "special access program" to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine from excess doses in Detroit. Health officials in Michigan say they have an excess number of vaccine doses due to lack of demand and are willing to provide Windsor with enough doses for the Windsor-Essex population.
"At that site, they can do 7,000 doses of the vaccine a day but on a good day, they're lucky to put 2,500 needles in arms," city official Christopher Menard said, "In pharmacies there, they plead with customers to get their shots while they're at the pharmacy."
The only issue with the plan seems to be the federal government's lack of flexibility when it comes to border restrictions and closures. While Canadians could normally go into Detroit, get the vaccine and be back within hours the Quarantine Act would mandate that they quarantine for 14 days once returning and the land border crossings are closed.
"We're getting our shipments from the exact same plant that the hospitals in Detroit are getting them at," David Musyj, head of Windsor Regional Hospital said, "They have thousands of excess. They've told us they can handle the Windsor-Essex population without issue."
The Biden administration has committed to sending vaccine doses north of the border as Canada lags significantly behind the United States in vaccinations. Nearly 33 percent of Americans are now fully vaccinated while less than that number of Canadians have received their first dose.
Health Canada confirmed Windsor Regional Hospital's application but did not comment, neither did Michigan health officials. The hospital hopes for s speedy replay from the government as everyday thousands of vaccine doses expire in Michigan that could be going to Canadians.