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Halton Region paramedics become first in Ontario to receive coronavirus vaccine

Halton Region paramedic Vanessa Vis (left) receives the COVID-19 vaccine. Halton Paramedic Union

Paramedics in Halton Region have become the first paramedics in Ontario to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

That’s according to a tweet from the Halton Paramedic Union that was sent out Friday morning.

Paramedics were told as recently as Wednesday that they would be included in Ontario’s first phase of vaccinations but they’d likely have to wait until March, or even as late as May, due to a limited supply of the vaccine.

However, a Halton Region paramedic said she and her colleagues were able to get the shot because appointments had become available over the holidays.

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“It feels very, very surreal that we were able to get put in so quickly when we thought we probably weren’t gonna get vaccinated until that time,” said Vanessa Vis, and Advanced Care Paramedic and president of OPSEU Local 207.

Vis says the paramedics that received the shot are feeling hopeful.

“This could all be coming to an end,” added Vis. “It’s been a long year for us and with a lot of challenges, so it (getting the shot) kind of was a little bit of hope.”

Read more: Ontario says paramedics will be included in 1st phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Provincial health officials started the vaccine rollout in mid-December by giving the shot to residents and staff at Ontario’s long-term care facilities and retirement homes.

According to the province, 33,191 does of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been administered in Ontario.

The province reported a single-day record of 3,363 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and an additional 44 deaths.

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