Pfizer’s first vaccines against COVID-19 arrived at the long-term care center (CHSLD) St-Henri, in the Sud-Ouest borough.
The doses will vaccinate residents and health care staff over a three week period.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) had previously determined 21 new vaccination sites. The locations were chosen based on priority groups, the size of the CHSLDs and the state of the situation.
The first resident of the St-Henri Care Center, Alain Desbiens, received the first dose of the vaccine at 2:15 p.m. on December 21. He said he felt no pain.
Over the next few weeks, the other residents of the CHSLD should receive it in turn. Almost 140 out of 150 people have given their permission.
An operation was put in place to obtain the approval of patients and staff from other CHSLDs at the CIUSSS du Center-Sud.
Different steps are necessary before proceeding with the vaccination.
The doses arrive in an ice container equipped with a GPS. The CIUSSS personnel ensure the reception, storage and reconstitution of the vaccine.
Pfizer then issues a certificate of compliance. Thanks to GPS, the company can monitor the storage temperature of the product remotely. Nursing staff can then administer the vaccines.
“An operation of this magnitude requires the synergy of professionals from all departments and all sectors of the organization,” said COVID-19 vaccination manager Guylaine Carrière.
As of December 21, a little over 40 people had already received a first dose at the CHSLD St-Henri.
A second injection should be given three weeks later in order to increase the effectiveness rate up to 95%.
In early December, Health Canada had approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine. Other products could be authorized in the coming weeks.
Some 675,000 Quebecers could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of March.