As a pharmacist, I’ve been vaccinating Manitobans at pharmacies across the province. I’ve been surprised by how emotional the experience is to protect Manitobans against COVID. Each vaccination is one step closer to normal life and you can see the joy in each person’s face as they get immunized.
I felt the same emotion myself when I was vaccinated. Besides a slight soreness in the arm, I had no other side effects besides relief.
I’ve been a pharmacist for 11 years and work at pharmacies across Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. I’m also the co-founder of Simplicity Wellness, a health coaching and chronic disease management practice. Because I work in a number of locations across two provinces, including First Nations communities, it is essential that I’m not a vector for disease. It’s important to follow all public health guidelines and be very careful. I received my vaccine at the first opportunity I had, at the Super-Site clinic in Morden.
Pharmacies provide vaccinations close to home for people who don’t want – or aren’t able – to travel to Super-Site clinics. Pharmacists play an important public health role. We have strong relationships with our clients and help people to understand how effective and how safe the COVID vaccines are.
For people who are hesitant about vaccines, I would encourage them to connect with a trusted resource, like your pharmacist or doctor. They can describe the risks and benefits of vaccines so that you can understand and make the right choice for yourself. All vaccines in Canada are effective at preventing the serious consequences of COVID. This vaccine, like all other vaccines in the past, have gone through the same rigorous safety monitoring and evaluation protocols.
During the pandemic, I’ve missed going to music festivals, Fringe Fest, and other public events. However, my partner and I enjoy backcountry canoeing and camping which have been safe activities during the pandemic. In recent years, I’ve become a proponent of public transit and active transportation for environmental reasons. This year, I’ve been riding my bike more often to go to work and for recreation. It offers mental and physical health benefits, and helps cope with the ongoing stress of the pandemic.
When I was vaccinated, it was a relief to know I was one step closer to getting back to normal life. I look forward to being able to enjoy all Manitoba has to offer and to live more freely with an increased appreciation for seeing our friends and families. We need as many Manitobans as possible to get vaccinated so that we can all get back to the things and people that we love.