Brandon became the second vaccine ‘super site’ to open in Manitoba initially for immunizations of health-care workers, (and other specific groups meeting provincial eligibility requirements), which began at the Brandon Keystone Centre on January 18. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Minister of Health and Seniors Care Heather Stefanson toured the site with Prairie Mountain Health representatives before it opened on January 13.
The Brandon site is open seven days a week, 12 hours a day. The planning, setup and implementation of the Brandon site has been a true provincial team approach with many departments and partners involved in this large project. Over the course of the last two weeks, the Regional Leads —with feedback from staff working at the site —have continued to work at making changes to improve the services and experience for those working at the site and those receiving their vaccination. It is a very valuable and rewarding experience for all staff working there to see how happy and relieved those to be vaccinated are when they get their shot.
With the current disruption in Pfizer vaccine supply in Canada, the Brandon Keystone site has been providing limited number of vaccinations. It is anticipated by early March, that the Keystone Centre will be providing over 600 doses per day.
PMH staff that have confirmed appointments continued to receive their immunizations at either Winnipeg RBC Convention Centre site, or the recently opened Keystone Centre.
Dr. Stacey Kitz who works in the Emergency Department at Brandon Regional Health Centre kept her appointment in Winnipeg and received her vaccination there.
“There are very few words that accurately capture how I felt getting the vaccine. I had an ear to ear grin from the moment I sat down in the chair, if I could have hugged the nurse, I would have. It’s a feeling of hope, excitement, amazement at the global effort that went into having a vaccine available less than one year from the beginning of the pandemic,” Dr. Kitz stated.
Annie Cassan, Mental Health Resource Nurse for Deloraine, Melita and Reston received her immunization at the Keystone Centre. Following her immunization she expressed "Today I finally felt a step in the direction of HOPE. Moving away from the feelings of helplessness that Covid-19 has produced. I'm feeling grateful for the ability to help protect those precious people around me. Family, friends, co-workers, patients and residents. We are definitely all in this together".
For more information on COVID immunizations in Manitoba, as it becomes available, follow @MBGov on Twitter or visit www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/eligibility-criteria.html.
Staff at the Brandon Keystone Centre Immunization Super Site are ready for opening day on January 18.
Dr. Stacey Kitz who works in the Emergency Department at Brandon Regional Health Centre received her immunization at the Winnipeg RBC Convention Centre site.
L-R: Kristen Dales, Public Health Nurse in Killarney; Tonya VanMackelberg, Public Health Nurse in Boissevain and Leslie Turner, Lab and X-ray Technologist in Killarney received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Keystone Centre in Brandon. Upon receiving her vaccination Dales stated, "it was a great day getting my first dose! It feels like a glimmer of some hope"!
Joanna Robb a Cyto Technologist at the Westman Lab in Brandon was the first health care worker to receive her COVID-19 vaccination at the Brandon Keystone Centre Immunization Super Site January 18, from Public Health Nurse Jennifer Cochrane. "It gives me hope, a lot of hope. We are moving in the right direction. It's very emotional and very uplifting," shared Robb after receiving her immunization. Cochrane happily shared her feelings after administering the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, "I think it will give them some hope, they will feel like okay, I have done something major to get myself protected from this virus, I'm protecting myself, I am protecting others. It will be a very special day for everyone that comes today".