Long-term care home residents in British Columbia began to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.
A video posted to Fraser Health’s social media shows 77-year-old Andy Yoon becoming the first long-term care home resident to receive the immunization.
“Are you OK with going ahead with the vaccine?” an off-camera person asks in the video.
“Oh yeah,” says Yoon. “I was waiting for it … I’m very happy to get the vaccine myself. After the vaccine, going to see my grandson.”
In the video, healthcare staff break out into applause after Yoon receives the shot.
Hundreds of long-term care home residents in B.C. have died from COVID-19 this past year. The Fraser Health region has been hit the hardest.
While the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine first arrived in B.C. last week, the manufacturer required it be administered only at certain points of delivery to ensure its efficacy. The province has since tested and proved its own delivery system.
This week, Pfizer allowed the province to transport the temperature-sensitive vaccine themselves, which gives care home residents access to it.
“In addition to our health-care workers, immunization of residents in long-term care is now also underway,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday in a statement. “Given seniors and Elders have been most severely impacted by this virus, this is welcome news for all of us.
This week also saw Health Canada approve the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. That vaccine is expected to begin distribution in B.C. next week.
As of Thursday, 8,178 British Columbians across all health authorities had been vaccinated. By the end of March, about 10 per cent of all British Columbians are expected to have at least one dose of the two-dose vaccine.
Long term care residents have started receiving their first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Fraser Health. Watch here: pic.twitter.com/UWsV8mipnq
— Fraser Health (@Fraserhealth) December 24, 2020