King, Morrison, Dowling get 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine
'I'm not a huge fan of needles in general, but it felt like barely a pinch' says premier
Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King, Chief Public Health Officer Heather Morrison and Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling all received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a mass clinic in Charlottetown Thursday.
"I feel great," King told media afterward. "It's a relief, I think like all Islanders I've been waiting for my turn [and] it came up."
"I feel like I'm one step closer to moving beyond this past 14 months or 15 months, so I feel really good, really positive," he added.
"I'm not a huge fan of needles in general, but it felt like barely a pinch, a little mosquito bite. The anticipation was much worse than the event."
King said anyone who might be nervous, like he was, will be reassured by the calm competence of the nursing team walking Islanders through the process. It took about 20 minutes, he noted.
"I encourage all Islanders when it's your turn, register and get in and get your needle," he said. That will mean Islanders and all Canadians can get back to a more normal way of life.
King did not say which vaccine they received, but all require a second dose within four months. He said he is looking forward to receiving that shot too.
Morrison was all smiles after her shot, sharing she felt excited and relieved to finally be vaccinated.
"I'm just wanting to do my part so we can all get through this together," she said. "It's almost a little emotional, I think, when it finally happens."
Close to 50,000 Islanders have received at least one dose of the vaccine, Morrison said.
She said officials will meet Friday to discuss the rollout of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Island youth 12 to 16 years old.
Health Canada just approved the vaccine for that age group, a move Morrison calls "very positive." She said she hopes 12-to-16-year-olds can all be immunized with two doses by the time school resumes in September.
"It was simple, and I feel great," said Dowling. "It's a great day today." She said she is proud Islanders have been coming in droves to be vaccinated, and is proud of the vaccine rollout.
"We're getting there, we're getting closer," she said.
P.E.I. has nine active cases of COVID-19. There have been 185 positive cases in total, with two hospitalizations and no deaths.
More from CBC P.E.I.
- A previous version of this story said nearly 60,000 Islanders had received at least one dose of vaccine. In fact, nearly 50,000 Islanders have received at least one dose of vaccine.May 06, 2021 3:27 PM AT
With files from Kirk Pennell