First doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Ontario

Personal support worker from Toronto is the first in Canada to receive the vaccine

Some of the first does of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine began to be administered on Monday in Ontario, one day ahead of schedule.

Sleeves were rolled up at the University Health Network in Toronto. The other doses are being sent to The Ottawa Hospital.

In a statement from the premier’s office, Doug Ford recognized Anita Quidangen as the first person in Ontario and Canada to receive the shot.

“Anita is a personal support worker (PSW) from the Rekia Centre at Sherbourne Place, a long-term care home in Toronto,” the statement said. “She has worked tirelessly to care for some of our most vulnerable, both throughout this pandemic and since her first days as a PSW in 1988. Anita has spent years rolling up her sleeves to protect our province, and today, she didn’t hesitate to find a new way to do so. She represents the best of the Ontario Spirit.”

The first shipment of 6,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in Hamilton on Sunday night. Premier Ford was on hand to see the vaccines unloaded off the aircraft.

Health-care workers, residents of long-term care homes and their caregivers are to be vaccinated first under phase one of the Ontario government’s immunization plan. Individuals who get a needle this week will need a second one 21 days later.

Once that round has been completed, Indigenous communities, residents of retirement homes and recipients of chronic home health-care will get doses of the vaccine next.

The Ford government expects to receive 2.4 million doses of the vaccine – allowing 1.2 million people to receive shots during the first three months of 2021. The goal is to make the vaccine more widely available to the general public by April.

“This is a watershed moment – the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic,” Premier Ford said in his statement. “The light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter every day, but we must remain on our guard.”