The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here - a Richmond long-term care home worker was the first person in Richmond to be given the COVID-19 vaccine.
Jodie Jackman, 46, said she felt privileged and excited to be the first one in line in Richmond to get vaccinated early Tuesday morning.
The recreation assistant said she has helped many families connect with their loved ones through closed windows and via iPads because of care home restrictions.
“I see how devastated the families are to not be able to come in and be with their families,” said Jackman, who has been working for six years at a Richmond long-term care facility as a recreation therapy assistant.
“My duty is to keep the family safe, and part of that is to get the vaccination,” she added.
After the vaccination, Jackman said she felt good and encouraged others to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccine doses have arrived in every regional health authority throughout the province, B.C.’s provincial health officer said Monday.
Doses were initially only administered at two sites — one in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region and another in the Fraser Health Region —with 3,644 “mostly health-care workers” receiving shots last week, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Doses have now been delivered to nine sites throughout B.C.
“Last week was a great kickoff for immunization programs across the province,” Henry said on Monday during a media briefing.
“We will have more information and more details about exactly how much vaccine and who is eligible to receive the vaccine, where and how, so please be patient. And as more information becomes available, we will be sharing.”
Health-care workers in emergency rooms, intensive care and long-term care will be the first to get the vaccine. Residents of long-term care and assisted-living facilities will be the next in line. Dr. Bonnie Henry expects everyone in the province who wants to get a vaccine to get it by September 2021.
However, getting vaccinated doesn’t mean the end of face masks yet. According to the provincial health officer's guidelines, even though some people will receive a COVID-19 vaccine soon, it's still necessary to stick to the public health orders, such as washing hands frequently, maintaining physical distance and wearing face coverings in public.