Mississauga long-term care nurse becomes first to receive COVID-19 vaccine in hard-hit Peel


Published December 21, 2020 at 10:00 pm


Today, exactly nine months and 17 days after Trillium Health Partners (THP) treated its first patient with COVID-19, the hospital administered the first COVID-19 vaccine in Mississauga. 

According to a THP news release, the vaccine was given by Nasha Zaheer, a registered nurse who has been working in the first dedicated COVID-19 unit since March. 

“This past year has been trying for all of us and no one has felt it more deeply than those of us on the frontlines, or families who have lost a loved one to this virus,” said Zaheer in a statement. 

“The arrival of this vaccine gives our community as a whole renewed hope and optimism for a healthier, happier new year.”

The first person to receive the vaccine at THP was Bella Rego, a registered nurse at Camilla Care Community, a Mississauga long-term care home that was hard-hit by COVID-19 during the first wave.

“I am honoured to be the first of many in our community to receive this vaccine,” said Rego in a statement. 

“This milestone moment marks a welcome and positive turning point for long-term care and I am proud to have rolled up my sleeve not only for my health, but also for our residents, family and friends.”

THP is among the first hospitals in Ontario to administer the vaccine and a dedicated COVID-19 vaccination team is in place, working closely with public health at the local, provincial and federal levels. 

THP says the administration of the vaccine will happen in phases, beginning with long-term care workers.

“It is truly an honour for Trillium to be a designated hospital to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in this community,” said Michelle DiEmanuele, President & CEO in a statement. 

“This vaccine not only represents a positive shift in the pandemic’s course, but what can be achieved when partners across all health systems, levels of government and community come together.”

THP has been one of three hospitals in Ontario caring for the highest number of COVID-19 patients, having treated its first patient on March 4, 2020. According to THP, the hospital has now cared for more than 800 patients with the virus.

THP says that although the vaccine represents a light at the end of the tunnel, residents should remain vigilant and follow all public health rules and recommendations for the next few months. 

“It is critical, now more than ever, to follow public health guidelines: wash your hands, stay home, wear a mask, do not visit with those outside your household and get your flu shot,” THP said in a news release. 

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