An Abbotsford health-care worker was the first in Fraser Health to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday (Dec. 15).
Linda Latour, a health-care assistant, was among 4,000 workers in B.C. who this week will roll up their sleeves to receive the first approved COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine is being administered to health-care workers who in long-term care homes and to front-line health-care workers.
“It means so much to me, to feel safe, to keep (residents) safe …. So we can all live normal lives again,” Latour said.
She said the pandemic has been “very tough, very stressful” on her, her family, the residents and staff.
Latour was emotional when asked what getting the vaccine means to her.
“It’s going to make a big difference. I’ll be able to go back and tell my residents that we did this … I’m really excited. I just want this all over. I want to be able to see my kids again,” she said.
After Latour received the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, there was a round of applause from a small group of socially distanced health officials.
Also first to receive the vaccine on Tuesday was Nisha Yunis, a residential care aide with Vancouver Coastal Health.
Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are the two regions in B.C. that have had the highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Health-care workers within care homes and acute wards – particularly those helping treat COVID-19 patients – are at the top of the list for vaccines.
Next in line are those living in long-term care homes and facilities, and other elderly people within B.C. communities and First Nation reserves.
Starting the week of Dec. 21, vaccines will be delivered to all health authorities.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said, as vaccines become more available, they will be provided to other priority groups throughout the province.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canada had reached an agreement with Moderna to provide its vaccine, but has yet to be approved by Health Canada.
In the coming days, 30,000 Canadians are set to receive the vaccine.