An 89-year-old resident of a care home in the province of Quebec became the first Canadian to receive Covid-19 vaccine as the country becomes one of the first in the world to roll out its coronavirus vaccination program.
Gisèle Lévesque received the Pfizer BioNTech push in Quebec City and was greeted by a small group of health care workers who had gathered by the time. Elderly and frail residents of such facilities were the most vulnerable population in Canada during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lévesque was followed by Anita Quidangen, a Toronto health worker, who became the first person in Ontario to receive the injection.
The start of the historic vaccination program was welcomed by Canada’s Secretary of State for Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand, who tweeted, “Canada will receive 30,000 doses of Pfizer BioNTech’s approved vaccine today.”
This first shipment of 30,000 pieces is part of the first installment of 249,000 pieces that will arrive in Canada in the following days, as Anand has announced that they will be available by December 31st. Another million cans are expected by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
The start of vaccination has also resulted in a sharp increase in the number of Canadians “ready to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as a vaccine is available,” according to the Angus Reid Institute nonprofit public electoral bureau.
Approximately 48% of Canadians now want to be vaccinated immediately, an 8% increase from the previous month, indicating that skepticism is gradually easing as reports of vaccination in the UK and US come along with announcements of the shocks available in Canada.
However, the agency noted that “while more in this country are expressing a desire to be vaccinated sooner rather than later, the number of those who say they will not receive a vaccine has remained unchanged at about one in seven”.