The first COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada have been delivered and are being administered to frontline health care workers in Ontario.
“Today is a historic day for Ontario and for Canada as the first Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines have started to be given to our frontline health care heroes,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a statement on Monday, December 14, 2020.
“I would especially like to recognize Anita Quidangen, the first person in Ontario and Canada to receive the shot. Anita is a personal support worker (PSW) from the Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place, a long-term care home in Toronto.”
Premier Ford added: “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.”
I’m thrilled to see the first Pfizer vaccine being administered in Ontario. It’s time to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. https://t.co/j0IMGsTu8c
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) December 14, 2020
Ford said today’s milestone officially launches the first phase of Ontario’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan to keep Ontarians safe and marks the beginning of the long journey to return life back to normal.
“Over 2,500 health care workers in our hospitals and long-term care homes will be vaccinated over the coming days and weeks, with more people to follow as additional shipments arrive,|” the Premier stated.
“I encourage everyone to be patient. This is the biggest immunization program in a century, and our vaccine supply will arrive in stages. General Hillier and the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force are working with Health Canada and other provincial and territorial partners to ensure the vaccines are distributed quickly, so people can get immunized as soon as possible.”
Ford said “this is a watershed moment” and “the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic.
“The light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter every day, but we must remain on our guard,” Ford said.
“As we continue to rollout these vaccines, I’m asking all Ontarians to please continue following the public health measures to keep everyone safe and healthy, especially during the holiday season. Avoid social gatherings, wear a mask when required, practise physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, and download the COVID Alert app. As we await the arrival of more vaccines, this is our best and only defence against this deadly virus.”
Health Canada officials said on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 that they have “reached a critical milestone in its fight against COVID-19” with the authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine.