On December 22, 2020, SHN delivered the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This was an exciting moment for our community, and a significant step in the continued fight against the virus.

SHN’s first vaccine recipients were long-term care and retirement workers in Scarborough, with the very first dose administered to Vernet Dehaney, a personal support worker (PSW) who has worked at Scarborough’s Kennedy Lodge long-term care home for 31 years. During the pandemic, Vernet has worked on Kennedy Lodge’s Main South unit, improving the lives of those she has cared for. Her vaccination was provided by SHN’s Dr. Elan Ambalavanar, an Emergency department physician.

“It’s a big relief. It’s a breakthrough – it’s like the light at the end of the tunnel,” Vernet told our SHN team after receiving her vaccine. “Getting the vaccine gives so much reassurance, knowing that I’m protecting the elderly. Not only did I get it for myself and my family, but for my friends, coworkers and everyone around me.”

Since then, our vaccine clinic at the Centenary hospital has been busy working to ensure all those essential staff working with patients in Scarborough receive their COVID-19 vaccine safely and efficiently.

As of January 15, 2021, all long-term care homes in Toronto were vaccinated, protecting our most vulnerable from the virus.

“It means so much to me,” says Grace Rivera, executive director of Kennedy Lodge. “We’ve been waiting for this for so long and praying this would happen as soon as possible. I would encourage the community, especially our Scarborough community, to get vaccinated when you can.”

We are tremendously grateful for the continued care, resilience and courage of our frontline workers. To find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Scarborough, visit SHN.ca/covid-19.