Optimism in Canada as 89-year-old Quebecer is first to get vaccinated for Covid-19
An 89-year-old resident of a long-term care home in the province of Quebec became the first Canadian to receive a Covid-19 vaccine shot as the country is among the first in the world to roll out its coronavirus vaccination programme.
Gisèle Lévesque received the Pfizer-BioNTech jab in Quebec City and was applauded by a small group of health care workers who had gathered to mark the moment. Elderly and infirm residents of such facilities have been the most vulnerable demographic in Canada during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lévesque was followed by Anita Quidangen, a health care worker in Toronto, the first person in Ontario to get the injection.
The beginning of the historic vaccination programme was greeted by Anita Anand, Canada’s minister of public services and procurement, who tweeted, “Today, Canada is receiving 30K doses of the authorised Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.”
That initial shipment of 30,000 is part of the first installment of 249,000 that will arrive in Canada in the days to follow as Anand said they will be available by December 31, with millions more doses expected by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
The start of the vaccination has also led to a sharp rise in the number of Canadians “willing to be immunised against Covid-19 as soon as a vaccine is available to them”, according to the non-profit public polling agency Angus Reid Institute.
About 48% of Canadians now want to be vaccinated immediately, an increase of 8% over last month, indicating that scepticism is gradually eroding as reports of vaccinations in the UK and the US come in along with announcements of the jabs being available in Canada.
But the agency noted that “while more in this country express a desire for inoculation sooner rather than later, the number of those who say they will not get a vaccine has remained static at roughly one-in-seven”.