Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry poses with Nisha Yunus, who has been a residential care aide with Vancouver Coastal Health for 41 years. Yunus was one of the first health-care workers in B.C. to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (BC Government photo)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry poses with Nisha Yunus, who has been a residential care aide with Vancouver Coastal Health for 41 years. Yunus was one of the first health-care workers in B.C. to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (BC Government photo)

‘Feels like a dream came true’: Health-care workers receive COVID vaccine in B.C.

Two frontline workers – one in Vancouver Coastal and the other in Fraser Health – make history

With two deep breaths, Nisha Yunis became part of history Tuesday as one of the first health-care workers in B.C. to be immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine.

The 64-year-old, who has been a residential care aide with Vancouver Coastal Health for 41 years, received the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 15 – met with a round of applause by a small group of socially-distant health officials.

“I am so grateful. It feels like a dream came true. It is both a privilege and an honour to receive the first COVID-19 vaccine in British Columbia,” Yunus said in a statement.

“I have seen first-hand what COVID-19 does to families, and I am hopeful we are getting closer to finally reaching the end of this pandemic, so people can reunite safely with their loved ones and put this behind us.”

Also immunized Tuesday was Linda Latour, a health-care assistant in Fraser Health. The pair of frontline workers are two of roughly 4,000 in B.C. who will soon be rolling up their sleeves to receive the first approved COVID-19 vaccine.

“This vaccine and the others that will be available in the weeks ahead will save lives, protect those who are most vulnerable and reduce the disruption that we have experienced in communities everywhere,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement.

“We are not yet through the storm, but brighter days are indeed on the horizon.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix said as vaccines become more available, they will be provided to other priority groups throughout the province.

ALSO READ: B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases dip to 522 Tuesday

Health-care workers within care homes and acute wards – particularly those helping treat COVID-19 patients – are at the top of the priority list for vaccines. Next in line are those living in long-term care homes and facilities, and other elderly people within B.C. communities and First Nation reserves.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canada had reached an agreement with Moderna to provide its vaccine, but has yet to be approved by Health Canada. In the coming days, 30,000 Canadians are set to receive the vaccine.

B.C.’s immunization plan is being led by Dr. Ross Brown, Vancouver Coastal Health’s vice-president. A registration and record system are in development, including a process to register for vaccine access and so people can receive a formal record of immunization.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

The Langley Centennial Museum is hoping the public can help identify people in this photo from the Sperling Church Sunday School. (Langley Township photo)
Did you attend Sperling Church Sunday School in Langley?

Local residents can help ID people in historic local photos and preserve Langley history

Higher sales of cannabis helped Canadian farmers come out in the green. (Black Press Media File)
Cannabis processing could start shop in North Langley

Company is the latest to work on industrial operations locally

Langley Quilters Guild helped honour two long-time members of the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, including Pat Walker (left), with “beautiful quilts” to express appreciation for their years of service to the non-profit. Her quilt was presented by Nuala Adderley (right), the guild vice-president. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Giving everlasting thanks to devoted Langley volunteers

Quilts given to two women who donate more than 30+ years each to Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary

Nixon Mahovlic, 8, was inspired by kindness week at Fort Langley Elementary so he set out to collect bottles to raise money for a local family in need. (Steve Mahovlic/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
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

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

Most Read