Kendall Skuta, an Abbotsford nurse, held up the card showing she'd been vaccinated shortly after receiving the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Saturday, Dec. 19. (Kendall Skuta/Special to Black Press Media)

Abbotsford nurse says vaccine returned hope

Kendall Skuta says people unsure should seek out good info to help decide

Kendall Skuta got a bit of a weight lifted off her mind on Saturday, Dec. 19, when she became one of the first wave of health care workers in the Fraser Valley to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

A nurse, Skuta works at both a hospital and a COVID-19 testing site, so she had been looking forward to receiving the vaccine.

For the most part, the vaccine is being given to lists of seniors care workers right now, as well as other front line workers who deal with the elderly.

But each batch of the Pfizer vaccine has to be thawed from -70° Celsius, and once thawed, it has to be used that day.

Any not used for those scheduled to get the shot is being given to other front line health workers or vulnerable people to ensure it does not go to waste. There has also been some “extra” vaccine, as vials were filled above what was strictly necessary by the factories.

“At the end of the day [Saturday] they had some left over,” Skuta said.

READ MORE: Health Canada approves Moderna COVID vaccine; 1.2 million does of two vaccines expected by Jan. 31

She got her shot and shortly after took a photo grinning behind her mask and showing off the card showing she’d been vaccinated.

“To see the vaccine, I felt hopeful for the first time this year,” Skuta said.

She’s been through an anxious and frustrating year, she said.

Because she’s around patients who could carry COVID, even with protective equipment, there’s a constant worry about catching the coronavirus and bringing it home to her husband.

Her year has included a lot of Facetime calls with relatives instead of seeing them in person, she said.

More than that, she’s been frustrated by false information spread about the coronavirus and its seriousness all year.

There’s been a lot of disregard for the people who are dying, she said, with some discounting them, saying they had pre-existing conditions or were very old.

“A death is a death,” Skuta said. “It’s very hard to see people who don’t take it seriously.”

Although she’s been vaccinated, it means no change in the way Skuta behaves at work or in public.

“We treat it [the vaccine] as if we didn’t have it,” she said.

The Pfizer and soon-to-arrive Moderna vaccines both require two shots to achieve the hoped-for immunity of around 95 per cent. But until there’s widespread vaccination and numbers go down, anyone could still carry the virus.

To anyone who is apprehensive about getting the vaccine, Skuta says to do your research – but go to trusted, reliable sources of information.

“Stick to the facts,” she said.

The Centre for Disease Control, health authorities, and governments are giving clear information about the vaccine and its possible side effects.

Make a personal choice after getting solid, reliable info, Skuta said.

abbotsfordCoronavirusFraser Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local letter writer expects more people turning to prayer during pandemic. (File photo)
LETTER: More people likely turn to prayer during pandemic, Langley man contends

Pandemic, politics and the economy are giving people reason to call on a higher power, he writes

Langley’s Julie Vantol shared this picture of her “intrepid” three-year-old son Jonas cycling along the shores fo the Fraser River on a recent sunny winter day. “Great day for a bike ride along the beach at Derby Reach trailhead, at 208th,” with the snow covered mountains in the background, she said. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Perfect biking weather?

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Fort Langley’s Wout Brouwer captured this picture of McMillan Island from the opposite shore of the Bedford Channel on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Maple Ridge mountaintops backdrop former Ridge church

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Parker Goddard, swinging at the ball) is wanting to hear from anyone interested in playing Spikeball. (Parker Goddard/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley Spikeball is looking for players

Local resident inviting people to try out a new hybrid sport – volleyball meets trampoline

Anne-Marie Walsh snapped this photo of farmland along Glover Road on Oct. 10 when the interesting clouds caught her attention.
SHARE: Clouds captivate in rural Langley

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read