Manitoba has officially administered its first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday morning.
The first injection took place at 8:45 a.m. at the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences on the Bannatyne campus. The first vaccines were given to Dr. Brian Penner, internal medicine at the Health Sciences Centre; Sherry Plett, a registered nurse with Southern Health; and Dr. Brian Sharkey, a family physician who sees patients in urgent care at Victoria Hospital.
“I think we’re extremely lucky that we live in Canada, in Manitoba, and that people have made huge efforts to get us this vaccine,” Penner said moments after receiving the first vaccine.
Penner noted he didn’t have an expectation he would be one of the first to receive the vaccine when he phoned to book his appointment.
He added he knows there are hundreds of thousands of people who deserve to receive the vaccine in Manitoba.
“The hope and expectation is that we’ll mediate a bit, this incredible crisis we’re in,” Penner said.
Sharkey said after he receives the second vaccination, he will feel “far more confident” in helping treat people with COVID-19.
“Do no harm is a basic message of medicine,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to bring a virus to somebody who was well, and made them unwell.”
Penner said he hopes everybody will “do their part” and recognize the importance of getting the vaccine so they can limit the spread and “the horrific number of casualties.”
Plett works in the Southern Health Region, which has been hit hard with COVID-19, and says people in the area should get the vaccine when it becomes available.
“I think it has a lot to do with our livelihood, not just our mental health, to eradicate this virus,” she said. “We need to get rid of it.”
This event comes one day after Manitoba received its first COVID-19 vaccines.
The first batch of immunizations will be given to approximately 900 health-care workers.
The vaccines are stored at the Faculty of Health Sciences at an ultra-low temperature, and can’t be moved after delivery.
The first vaccinations come nine months after the first COVID-19 case was recorded in Manitoba.
“As we round out 2020, and look ahead to a new year, there is hope in the window for a safe and healthier future,” said Premier Brian Pallister on Tuesday.