Coronavirus: First long-term care resident vaccinated in Interior Health region

Click to play video: 'First long-term care residents vaccinated in IHA region' First long-term care residents vaccinated in IHA region
First long-term care residents vaccinated in IHA region – Jan 8, 2021

The first long-term care resident has been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Interior Health’s region at the Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver.

This begins the rollout to other long-term care homes in the Interior Health region.

‘Betty’ was the first to receive the Pfizer Vaccine at the care home, as Interior Health has also announced it can now move the Pfizer vaccine safely.

Betty did not disclose her last name.

Read more: Coronavirus: Okanagan MLA Ben Stewart critical of B.C.’s vaccine rollout

Interior Health has said the majority of long-term care staff at McKinney Place and Sunnybank Retirement Home have been immunized, along with a few residents.

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Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen says the arrival of the vaccine is something he’s been anxiously waiting for.

“It’s the best news I’ve had in a long time,” said Johansen.

“Every time I turn on the news, it’s bad news, depressing news. But this is fantastic, I’m so happy.

Recently, Oliver has been hit hard by COVID-19, leading to 14 deaths of long-term care residents.

Johansen says he hopes the recent immunizations could mark the beginning of the end of transmissions in his town.

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B.C. officials report 617 new cases of COVID-19, 18 related deaths – Jan 8, 2021

“There is a lot of apprehension in the community and the world, for that matter, and we keep saying there’s hope and optimism and to hear this coming to our community, coming to our long-term care homes. This is just the best news ever,” said Johansen.

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Interior Health CEO Susan Brown says the first vaccinations of long-term care residents is something the health authority has also been waiting for.

She said, “After fighting this pandemic for almost a year, Interior Health has marked a heart-lifting milestone.”

“As vaccine deliveries continue to arrive, and immunizations accelerate throughout the region, we must not lose focus on following the public health guidance that prevents the spread of COVID-19.”

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