Island Health administered the first COVID-19 immunizations to health care workers in the Greater Victoria area today.
Island Health received 1,950 doses in its initial shipment and immunization clinics will continue throughout the week. Immunization clinics for staff and physicians will expand across Island Health in the coming weeks, as they receive more doses.
“In my 25-year career as a Medical Health Officer on the island, I have been privileged to be part of many significant firsts that improve the health of the population,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer. “The launch of our immunization program against COVID-19 this morning will be the most memorable.”
The vaccine is an important step in our journey to protect people from the COVID-19 virus, and today is a significant step taken on the island to protect health care workers who work on the frontlines of COVID-19.
Dena Scriven, a nursing assistant in long-term care, was the first health care worker within Island Health to receive the vaccine.
“I felt a little bit nervous walking into that room with everybody, but it is a vaccine I have read a lot about,” said Scriven, who hopes her colleagues choose to be vaccinated too. “I had no worries. I’m confident it is safe.”
Island Health is not booking appointments for COVID-19 immunizations for the general public at this time and we ask that people remain patient. We will follow direction from the Provincial Health Officer on how we distribute the vaccine in the weeks and months ahead – and that will include immunizations for the general public. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
While delivery of the vaccine is an exciting step, which provides us all with hope, it remains critically important that people continue to follow the Provincial Health Officer’s Orders and guidelines over the holiday season. Please continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask in public spaces, wash your hands frequently, avoid non-essential travel, and stay home to enjoy holidays with your immediate household.