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Pinoy Support Worker becomes one of the first to get COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario

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Canadians are finally seeing the end of the road for an almost-yearlong of quarantine and social distancing protocols: the vaccine is here, specifically, Pfizer-BioNTech. Anita Quidangen is one of the first people to have it administered in Toronto, Canada on Monday at the University Health Network. The place is deemed to be a system of hospitals and health-care facilities throughout the city.

Quidangen got her first dose before noon, Eastern Time. The Pfizer-BioNTech requires two doses and are administered two weeks apart. Her vaccination signals the end of the pandemic, the start of an immunization campaign that is going to be carried out the last few weeks of the year. Quidagen is a personal support worker at the Rekai Centre located in Sherbourne Place, Toronto. Being a health professional in the frontline, along with four other people, she was fortunate enough to be granted the first dose of the life-changing vaccine. It arrived in Canada by plane, from Hamilton, U.S.

Canada is currently distributing the first 30,000 doses of the vaccine, but despite this, Prime Minister Trudeau captioned in his tweet, “our fight against COVID-19 is not over,” urging for citizens to be careful especially during the holiday season. Officials all over the country are elated about the news of a vaccine, but are anxious about lack of supplies due to other countries also putting in their orders. Patty Hajdu, health minister, recalls emotional experience as she communicated with one of the early recipients in Montreal. Though the vaccine administration is starting, it is expected to not be as widespread as it is in the United States or United Kingdom.

Ultimately, the country will need to have at least four times as many doses needed for the population of 38 million people, particularly by the end of 2021. The second wave of the pandemic has started and concern is brewing amongst officials who worry not everyone will be saved. With over 464,000 confirmed cases and 13,451 deaths that are growing as per the John Hopkins Covid Tracker database, the future still seems uncertain for Canadians and everyone else in the world.

A resident of Canada since 1988, Quidangen is fortunate to be granted the vaccine, after working throughout the pandemic, a lot of times on double shifts. Back home in the Philippines, a new face shield mandate has been passed, news of the vaccine yet to be brought to reality by their government. Aside from her, frontline health workers Cecile Lasco and Derek Thompson (personal support workers), as well as Lucky Aguila and Colette Cameron (registered nurses) were also vaccinated. The immunization campaign is set to roll out effectively as the government tackles the COVID-19 pandemic with renewed vigor.

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