WINDSOR, ONT. -- A local personal support worker was the first in Windsor-Essex to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning.

Krystal Meloche, who works at Seasons in Belle River, was among the first of those vaccinated for the virus at the St. Clair College Sportsplex. She said COVID-19 took the life of her 73-year old father' in mid-June.

“I know what he went through and the heartache that we're all going through,” Meloche said.

She said she doesn't wish that kind of pain on anyone and hopes residents will take the opportunity to get vaccinated if and when they can.

“We have a huge potential to stop the curve, to protect ourselves, protect our loved ones. It's why I'm here,” Meloche said.

Around 130 people were vaccinated Tuesday. Hospital officials say the first batch is enough to vaccinate about 2,000 residents.

Meloche was one of seven invited early to receive the vaccination during the first hour.

The recipients ranged from retirement home owner, long term care administrators, and workers like Edith Larocque who overcame a bout with COVID.

“My message today is this is the best gift that you can give to yourself, people around you,” said Edith Larocque. “This is not a hoax. It really is not a hoax. You have no idea how your body is going to react to COVID.”

Vaccinations based on the limited supply of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will continue of the next several days and it is currently unknown when the next round will arrive.

“We are technically now moving from the phase of being at the end of the beginning to the beginning of the end,”

As more vaccines become available, WRH and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, will continue to follow the Government of Ontario's priority list, which focuses on:

  • Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings (e.g., long-term care homes and retirement homes) that provide care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection and serious illness from COVID-19
  • Health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel
  • Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities where the risk of transmission is high
  • Adult recipients of chronic home health care

- With files from CTV Windsor's Bob Bellacicco