News Release: New XBB COVID-19 and Flu Vaccines Available Soon to Individuals at Higher Risk in Windsor-Essex County

For Immediate Release 
Thursday, October 5, 2023 | 1:00 p.m. | Essex County

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) continues to remind residents to stay safe this respiratory illness season and prevent unnecessary visits to the hospital by staying up to date on vaccinations. Individuals are encouraged to get their flu and COVID-19 shots as soon as they are available to them. 

Starting October 10, 2023, Moderna’s updated SPIKEVAX XBB COVID-19 vaccine will be available for the most vulnerable, higher-risk populations in our community. The Ontario Ministry of Health has prioritized the following groups for the first phase of this rollout:

  • Pregnant individuals
  • Individuals ≥ 65 years of age
  • All children 6 months to 4 years of age
  • Individuals who are from a First Nation, Inuit or Métis community, and/or who self-identify as First Nation, Inuit, or Métis, and their household members
  • Individuals 6 months of age and older with underlying health conditions per NACI recommendations
  • Members of racialized and other equity deserving communities
  • Health care workers and first responders

Eligibility is also limited to those who have not had a dose of COVID-19 vaccine or a confirmed COVID-19 infection in the last 6 months. Flu shots will be offered to eligible individuals during their COVID-19 vaccination appointment. 

Both the XBB COVID-19 and flu vaccine will be available to the General Public after the high-risk populations towards the end of October, at health care providers’ offices and pharmacies. It is safe and convenient to receive both the COVID-19 and flu shot at the same time, reducing the need for multiple visits to a doctor, nurse practitioner, or local pharmacy. 

Appointment bookings at the WECHU for eligible priority groups is now open and can be booked online at

To learn more about how to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses this fall, visit or speak with your health care provider. 

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