For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.
Anita Quidangen, a personal support worker (PSW) at a Toronto long-term care home, was the first person in Canada to receive a COVID-19 vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Quidangen works at the Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place, a long-term care facility, and has been a PSW since 1988.
Today, @UHN gave the first @Pfizer @BioNTech_Group #CovidVaccine in Canada to Anita Quidangen, a personal support worker from the Rekai Centres, a LTC home partnered with UHN. We are proud to be part of this landmark day. pic.twitter.com/O2jdH9Z3OV
— University Health Network (@UHN) December 14, 2020
“Today is a historic day for Ontario and for Canada as the first Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines have started to be given to our frontline health care heroes,” a statement from Ontario Premier Doug Ford reads. “Anita has spent years rolling up her sleeves to protect our province, and today, she didn't hesitate to find a new way to do so. She represents the best of the Ontario Spirit.”
“This is a watershed moment - the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic. The light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter every day, but we must remain on our guard.”
People in Canada took to social media to share their thoughts about the first vaccine being administered in Canada.
How awesome is that the first #CovidVaccine in Ontario goes to Anita Quidangen, a PSW working in the frontlines including doing double shifts during a #COVID19 outbreak at the nursing home?👏🏻🙏🏻 #Hope https://t.co/SF3J8IpC8g
— Dr. Jennifer Kwan (@jkwan_md) December 14, 2020
I'm proud to live in a nation where a frontline PSW is the 1st person to get the #CovidVaccine.
In this historic moment, Anita Quidangen represents the service & sacrifice so many frontline workers made during this pandemic.
She represents hope & humanity for us all.#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/aNhHjzQxyl
— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) December 14, 2020
I am buoyed by this. Hard to believe there can be elating pandemic news, but here we are. Shout out to Anita Quidangen and every frontline worker. https://t.co/8T2zDrt9Gu
— Tom Naciuk (@NaciukThomas) December 14, 2020
A historical day in Canada. Let’s make “Anita Quidangen” a household name. ♥️ https://t.co/pi1MnBFLBN
— Lynn Henderson (@LynnGervais) December 14, 2020
Ok, watching Canadian #PSW Anita Quidangen get the first #COVID19 #CovidVaccine shot in Canada made me cry a little bit. I don't care who knows it. It's been such a devastating year for so many.Personal support workers deserve better conditions & wages#VaccinesSaveLives #cdnpoli https://t.co/KnbsNgFYSY
— Glenn Nuotio (@_nuotio_) December 14, 2020
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was also administered to residents in two long-term care homes in Quebec, Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal and Saint-Antoine in Quebec City.
“This is a really important tool to getting back to normal,” Canada’s health minister Patty Hajdu told reporters in Montreal. “I felt emotional because I know how worried and anxious families and healthcare worker are all across the country, how we’ve all worked so hard as a country to save lives and stop the spread.”
The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Canada! This is great news, but we still have a long road ahead of us. We need to continue our public health measures as we begin to vaccinate Canadians. https://t.co/cmlLtqiOZr
— Patty Hajdu (@PattyHajdu) December 14, 2020
The federal government confirmed 30,000 initial doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand, confirmed Monday at a press conference that similar shipments are expected to arrive throughout the coming weeks, but the exact size of each delivery is still being confirmed with Pfizer. Up to 249,600 doses should be arriving in Canada by the end of December.
Anand also shared that the federal government has awarded standing offers to five Canadian companies to deliver tens of thousands of kilograms of dry ice weekly, on an as-needed basis, for storing vaccines at various temperatures.
“Canada is charting its path forward towards recovery,” Anand said.