Island Health administers first COVID-19 vaccine

Island Health administered the first COVID-19 immunizations to health care workers in the Greater Victoria area today.

Island Health received 1,950 doses in its initial shipment and immunization clinics will continue throughout the week. Immunization clinics for staff and physicians will expand across Island Health in the coming weeks, as we receive more doses.

“In my 25-year career as a Medical Health Officer on the island, I have been privileged to be part of many significant firsts that improve the health of the population,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer. “The launch of our immunization program against COVID-19 this morning will be the most memorable.”

The vaccine is an important step in our journey to protect people from the COVID-19 virus, and today is a significant step taken on the island to protect health care workers who work on the frontlines of COVID-19. 
Dena Scriven, a nursing assistant in long-term care, was the first health care worker within Island Health to receive the vaccine.

“I felt a little bit nervous walking into that room with everybody, but it is a vaccine I have read a lot about,” said Scriven, who hopes her colleagues choose to be vaccinated too. “I had no worries. I’m confident it is safe.” 

Island Health is not booking appointments for COVID-19 immunizations for the general public at this time and we ask that people remain patient. We will follow direction from the Provincial Health Officer on how we distribute the vaccine in the weeks and months ahead – and that will include immunizations for the general public. More information will be shared as it becomes available. 

While delivery of the vaccine is an exciting step, which provides us all with hope, it remains critically important that people continue to follow the Provincial Health Officer’s Orders and guidelines over the holiday season. Please continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask in public spaces, wash your hands frequently, avoid non-essential travel, and stay home to enjoy holidays with your immediate household. 

Footage and still photographs of Island Health’s first COVID-19 immunization clinic is available here.

Read more about the Province’s COVID-19 vaccine plan here and learn about the vaccine here. For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.

About Island Health:
Island Health provides health care and support services to more than 850,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River. With more than 23,000 staff and over 2,500 physician partners, 4,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.
 

Media inquiries:
Dominic Abassi
250-755-7966
Dominic.Abassi@viha.ca