Local News

Shelburne staff members receive first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the region

Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg

Photo by: Kayla Kreutzberg

The first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shots in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) were administered in Guelph at WDG Public Health today.

Danny Williamson, communication specialist with WDG Public Health said the first to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was five staff members from Shelburne Long Term Care & Retirement Community.

“The reason it was Shelburne is because they were one of the hardest hit facilities in the spring,” Williamson said. “And so, that home is both vulnerable and but also, both the staff and the residents went through something extremely challenging, and we [WDG Public Health] wanted to acknowledge that.”

WDG Public Health nurse, Andrea Bothwell administered the first Pfizer vaccine shot to Sarah Ricci, a staff member at Shelburne Long Term Care & Retirement Community.

Williamson said they received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

“This week we are able, starting tomorrow, to administer [approximately] 250 doses a day, and by next week our capacity will be 500 doses a day, that’s just here at public health, not including doses of the Moderna vaccine that will go out to facilities,” Williamson said.

Williamson said WDG Public Health has really ramped up both their training and capacity, as well as their logistical planning.

“To make sure that as soon as the doses arrive here in the region, at our office, that we are turning them around as quickly as humanly possible,” he said.

He said that for the time being the vaccine will only be administered at Guelph’s WDG Public Health location.

The full vaccination program begins tomorrow with mostly long-term care and retirement home staff getting the Pfizer vaccine.

Williamson told 88.7 The River when the general public will be able to start getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Dr. [Nicola] Mercer, [Medical Officer of Health for WDG Public Health] said this morning, the general public should be looking sort of late April, early May as it starts to become available to the public,” he said.

He added that there are a lot of variants in that, depending on how delivery goes, and it could be a few weeks one way or another, but it looks like the general public will get vaccinated later in the spring.