The first patient in the Guelph area has received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Sarah Ricci was the first patient to get the shot. She’s the programs manager at Shelburne Long-Term Care north of Orangeville, which had one of the region’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks during the first wave of the pandemic.
"I feel great, happy to be here," she said.
In total, 56 residents and 20 staff members contracted the disease. Twenty people died.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health nurse Andrea Bothwell administered the first shot on Wednesday morning.
Public health staff were familiarizing themselves with the process, which is different from other vaccines.
"Giving the needle, that part is still the same," Bothwell said. "It's the handling of the vaccine. We do have to be very careful with how we handle it. It has to be taken out and thawed and mixed and handled very gently."
Five other workers from Shelburne LTC were also vaccinated on Wednesday morning.
The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived on Tuesday, a day behind schedule. That shipment contained about 1,000 doses of the vaccine.
While it’s not exactly clear what led to the delay—public health and Pfizer had different explanations—officials had said that a partial day of vaccinations would begin on Wednesday, with the full schedule taking effect on Thursday.
Officials expect to administer 250 doses a day starting Thursday, rising to 500 a day next week when more doses arrive.
"I will absolutely use every dose now," Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer said. "I am confident we will get the second dose."
As of Wednesday morning, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health was reporting that it had had a total of 2,953 cases to date, including 2,466 resolved cases and 49 deaths. That leaves 438 active cases, including nine people who are in hospital.
The region is reporting a seven-day moving rate of 123 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 4.9 per cent.
There are 12 active outbreaks in the area.