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VIDEO: Prince George care aide the first in Northern Health to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Biserka Becker works in the Jubliee Lodge
first-covid-vaccine Northern Health
Biserka Becker, a care aide in Prince George's Jubilee Lodge, was the first in Northern Health to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

A care aide in Prince George's Jubilee Lodge has made history in Northern Health today (Dec. 22).

Biserka Becker was the first in the region to receive the free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine more than 24 hours after the authority's first shipment had arrived.

In total, nine health care workers in the long-term care home and University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) were the inaugural vaccinated group.

As per the B.C. Ministry of Health and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, high-risk health care workers and residents in long-term and assisted-living facilities are the first priority groups to receive the first doses.

“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. Marietije Slabbert, who was also administered a vaccine dose today as she's a physician lead for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at UHNBC.

“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.”

The Jubilee Lodge is where four residents have died from COVID-19 since an outbreak was declared on Dec. 12; a total of 45 infections have been recorded to date, 38 of whom are residents and seven are staff members.

Northern Health is also expecting Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to ultimately be approved by Health Canada sometime in the new year.

About 380,000 British Columbians are expected to be vaccinated by the end of March.

Northern Health is hoping to have its entire jurisdiction vaccinated by the end of 2021.

The seven other front-line workers that were administered the Pfizer dose in Prince George today were as follows:

  • 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

As of this publication, Northern Health has recorded 1,620 COVID-19 cases since March, including 22 new ones in the last 24 hours.

This includes 16 deaths to date, 462 active cases, 20 people in critical care among 52 total hospitalizations, and 1,119 recoveries.

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