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Coronavirus: Interior Health begins COVID-19 vaccinations – Global News

Coronavirus: Interior Health begins COVID-19 vaccinations – Global News

The first COVID-19 vaccinations in the Interior Health region are taking place in Kelowna.

“It’s an exciting day,” said Dr. Albert de Villiers, Interior Health’s chief medical officer. “Today, we are starting our vaccine campaign for the COVID-19 vaccine.” 

Charmane Lazzarotto was the first person to receive the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.

She was deemed a member of a high-priority group that’s the first-in-line to be vaccinated.

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“It’s a very, very emotional moment,” said Lazzarotto. “I‘ve been praying for this to come for a long time and it’s very overwhelming.”

Lazzarotto is a health-care aide, and the vaccine is being first administered to long-term care staff and physicians.

She says working with COVID patients has been an emotional rollercoaster — and the arrival of the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.

“People are not taking this pandemic seriously. I’ve witnessed it first hand, a person begging to breathe,” Lazzarotto told Global News on Tuesday.

“Tubes down people’s throats, it’s just it’s very, very emotional on my part working with these people.”


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Janelle Wallace, an Interior Health nurse, was the one to administer the first vaccine dose.

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She said it was a moment the whole industry has been waiting for, and that the moment was a special one.

“It’s exciting. It’s been long-awaited and it’s just the next step,” said Wallace.

“It’s a big sigh of relief and I know that around the clock, nurses and doctors are working to care for the sick.”


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IHA said it has around 1,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with more expected to arrive next week. 

It’s the start of a long vaccination process.

“As soon as we get more vaccines, we’ll be finishing off the long term care staff,” said de Villiers. “Then, the long-term residents and after that, the regular staff in ICU and emergency departments.

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“After that, hopefully by the spring, we’ll be able to get it to the general population.”

IHA is not disclosing the location where the vaccinations are happening, citing security reasons.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Published at Tue, 22 Dec 2020 23:56:17 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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