Ucluelet senior Ellen Kimoto beams with relief after receiving her first dose of the Moderna vaccine from community health nurse Zoe Jewell. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Ucluelet senior Ellen Kimoto beams with relief after receiving her first dose of the Moderna vaccine from community health nurse Zoe Jewell. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Ucluelet seniors receive COVID-19 vaccine

“I felt good I didn’t have to leave Ucluelet. This is a wonderful service having them come here.”

Ellen Kimoto was among 75 or so Ucluelet seniors and frontline workers to receive a first dose of the Moderna vaccine last week.

Kimoto was grateful she didn’t have to travel far from home for her March 24 COVID-19 immunization appointment.

“I felt good I didn’t have to leave Ucluelet. This is a wonderful service having them come here,” said Kimoto.

She wore a favourite New York City Metropolitan Opera T-shirt to honour the occasion.

“I brought opera to Ucluelet, to the elementary school, ten years worth, so that Ucluelet kids would have the opportunity to experience the opera sensation,” she said.

“The arts and culture has really suffered this year, probably more than any other group besides tourism. They were going through a transition anyways because many of the donors for things like opera and symphony are now in nursing homes. Funding for the arts has been a real issue,” she went on to say.

Kimoto, who lives in the Spring Cove neighbourhood, said she’s had to turn down many requests from friends to come visit her.

“I don’t want them to come visit me. They are younger and they like to go out of course so I’ve had to say no for the very first time in my life. Usually I am very open to people coming.”

Since COVID hit, she said she also rarely uses the Wild Pacific Trail anymore because it’s become too busy.

“I’m hoping that this pandemic is going to run its course, like anything else, and that Ucluelet and Tofino will get back to a normal way of life. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful place. I told my friends to hang on until next summer,” Kimoto said.

READ: Ucluelet senior grateful after trespassers apologize

She went on to offer her deepest thanks to frontline workers and to the restaurants that remained open.

Public health nurse Karyn Bernard was on hand at the March 24 Ucluelet immunization clinic.

“It’s all coming together,” said Bernard.

She encouraged anyone with concerns or questions about COVID-19 vaccinations to seek information on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website or Island Health.

“Or talk to your family doctor,” she said.

Vaccination registration for B.C.’s general population opens in April 6. Most people that get their COVID-19 vaccine will receive an Immunization Record Card, containing information about the date and type of vaccine received.

According to the BCCDC, it takes about two weeks after getting the first dose of vaccine to build immunity to the virus, and getting both doses is important for long-term protection against COVID-19.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

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