Lakeridge Health administered the first COVID-19 vaccine in Durham Region on December 22.
The hospital system is one of 19 Ontario hospitals providing COVID-19 vaccines in Phase One of Ontario’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan.
“This is a milestone event for our Durham Region community,” said Susan deRyk, Interim President and CEO, Lakeridge Health. “These last 10 months have meant unprecedented challenges for so many, including team members at Lakeridge Health and people who provide care for residents of long-term care homes. The beginning of the vaccine roll out in Durham Region is encouraging as we continue to focus on an aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The first recipient of the vaccine was Debra Carlyon, a personal support worker (PSW) at Sunnycrest Nursing Home in Whitby.
“I’m excited to be the first health care worker in Durham Region to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Debra Carlyon, PSW. “I can go to work with peace of mind knowing that I have more than personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect me. I’m getting the vaccine to protect myself, the people I care for and my family.”
As directed by the province, the first two priority populations to receive the vaccine are long-term care employees and high-risk retirement home workers.
“While this is an important step for our community and province, Lakeridge Health continues to work with our community health partners to urge all Durham Region residents to remain vigilant, especially during this holiday season,” said Dr. Tony Stone, Chief of Staff, Lakeridge Health. “We still need to mask, physically distance, wash our hands and avoid in-person gatherings. Everyone has a role to play to keep health care teams safe and communities healthy.”
Lakeridge Health continues to work with public health and provincial partners on the details of the upcoming mass vaccination plan for Durham Region.