I work at CancerCare Manitoba. Since I’m in contact with vulnerable people every day, I was eligible for the vaccine fairly early. I received my first shot in February and my second in March.
I was very happy that I was able to get the vaccine and I was really looking forward to it leading up to my appointment. For my first vaccination, I came prepared with my consent form. The line moved smoothly to the registration desk and then I waited to get the vaccine. The people were super helpful and the whole process took about an hour. This included the 15-minute post-vaccination stay. I had no side effects other than my arm which felt a bit heavy afterwards.
My second shot only took about half an hour. This time I did feel a bit sick, and I had a slight fever. I knew there could be some mild side effects but I didn’t mind the discomfort because I know that this is what we need to do to keep everyone safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been so hard on everyone. For our family, for the most part, we stay in and follow Dr. Roussin’s advice. My kids laugh at me because I keep repeating his words, that we have to ‘follow the fundamentals!’
My parents have received their vaccine too, which I’m very happy about. My mom was a bit hesitant at first, but we reminded her that she hasn’t seen her grandkids in a year and the vaccine is the only way to get back to normal.
We’ve had a lot of changes at work. We have to make sure everyone is following distancing and other protocols. We had plexiglass barriers installed to separate people and we all wear PPE every day. Of course, there’s also constant cleaning.
Family is such an important support system for people who are coming to CancerCare while they are going through their cancer journey. It’s tough for patients right now due to the visitor restrictions. It’s equally difficult for staff to enforce the rules, but it’s essential to help keep everyone safe.
As challenging as COVID-19 has been, we have the vaccine now, available after only a year. The vaccine combined with social distancing and other protocols will help everyone be safe and help get us all back to normal. I’m hopeful for the future and I can’t wait for everyone to be able to get their shot.