WINDSOR, ONT. -- A resident of Riverview Gardens was the first person in Chatham-Kent to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after a shipment arrived in the municipality Monday morning.

“I am saying yes to the vaccine for health reasons,” said Bill Breedon a long-term care home resident. “I have a history of strokes and want protection from the disease and the severe symptoms that can come along with it.”

Mary Alice Searles director of seniors’ services at Riverview Gardens, shared the elation and sense of relief.

“It has been a long 11 months, and we have been fortunate that with diligence, hard work and a healthy dose of luck, that we have not had any of our residents contract the disease,” said Searles.

According to the Chatham-Kent medical officer of health the vaccine in limited supply, so the municipality has followed the province’s framework for the vaccine distribution starting with long-term care residents.

“This population is most vulnerable to the transmission and spread of the virus,” said Dr. David Colby, Medical of Officer. “Frankly, I could not be happier that this moment has arrived!"

“This is the shot in the arm we have been waiting for,” said Lori Marshall, president and CEO, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Marshall added the vaccine is a turning point as her hospital has seen rising cases and increased hospitalization and she is hopeful the vaccine will help save lives and protect hospital services.

Health officials have directed people with questions to a provincial website and the public can remain up to date on the vaccine distribution by visiting the Chatham-Kent public health website.