The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to a group of high-risk health care workers in Prince George today.
The first person to receive the vaccine in the Northern Health region was Biserka Becker, a care aide at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George. Biserka was vaccinated along with a group of health care workers from University Hospital of Northern BC, and the nearby Jubilee Lodge long-term care facility.
Northern Health received 1,950 doses of the vaccine on Monday.
Dr. Marietije Slabbert, the physician lead for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at UHNBC, was also among group to receive the vaccine. Dr. Slabbert is considered a high-risk health care worker because of her work with COVID-19 patients in the ICU.
“This has been a really long journey for people working in health care, and the community at large, and it’s wonderful that this vaccine has finally arrived in the North; it’s like the best Christmas present ever,” said Dr. Slabbert. “The teams of physicians, nurses, care aides, cleaners — everybody has been working so hard, and we’ll continue working hard to get this vaccine to every person in the North who wants to be vaccinated.”
Northern Health is distributing the vaccine in accordance with the priority vaccine groups as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, beginning with:
- High-risk health care workers
- Long-term care and assisted living residents
As more vaccines are approved by Health Canada, more communities and more groups of people will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Northern Health expects to be able to immunize all northern B.C. residents who wish to have the vaccine by the end of 2021.
All COVID-19 vaccines will be free to everyone in British Columbia.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine research, priority populations, and the provincial rollout plan, visit the Government of British Columbia’s COVID-19 Vaccines website.
The first group of high-risk health care workers immunized for COVID-19 today at the University Hospital of Northern BC included:
- Biserka Becker, Care Aide, Jubilee Lodge
- Dr. Marietije Slabbert, Physician Lead for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at UHNBC
- Kiara Price – Registered Nurse, UHNBC
- Dr. Hillhouse, Family and Emergency Physician, Prince George Division Lead, Long Term Care
- Lee Anne Peever, Housekeeping, Jubilee Lodge
- Tracey Green, Respiratory Therapist, UHNBC
- Heather Walsh – RN, Patient Care Coordinator, UHNBC
- Chris Taruc, Incoming Chief Lab Technologist, UHNBC
- Ido Koledoye, Chief Physiotherapist, UHNBC
- Dr. Mansour, Department Head, Internal Medicine, UHNBC