We continue to hear stories and positive experiences from COVID-19 vaccination clinics across our region.
Louise Yeoh's connection to VCH started in 2013. Her involvement on the Family Advisory Committee at Richmond General, which spearheaded initiatives that sought family involvement in mental health and substance use services. Soon after, the Community Engagement Advisory Network (CEAN) was formed, and Louise became even more actively involved in the organization by providing the patient and family perspective for a number of VCH projects. Louise's mother, Ngai Harn, has also been connected with VCH for years as a client of VCH's Home Support program.
With Louise by her side, Ngai Harn received her vaccine in the early stages of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout as her Home Support team booked her vaccine appointment when seniors were invited to do so. Ngai Harn's experience with the vaccination process has been very positive. "It was wonderful to see so many other seniors at the clinic," says Ngai Harn. "The occasion felt like a social event."
"The entire process was so smooth," said Louise. "From the moment we arrived in the parking lot to the moment we left the after care area, we received excellent support," said Louise. "It was fast too! The process only took 25 minutes."
Ngai Harn had mild side effects following her vaccination. "I felt sleepy for a couple of days," said Nagi Harn." Mostly, I felt happy that I was more protected from COVID-19."
Both are looking forward to Nagi Harn receiving her second dose of the vaccine. "Going back to enjoying life, seeing people, attending senior fitness and painting classes, and travelling to Singapore and Malaysia are some of the things I'm looking forward to," she added. "I encourage everyone to get vaccinated so we can get back to these things soon!"
Graeme Rush, who has a disability, was taken to a community vaccination clinic by his caregivers, Chicky and Edgar Padron, to get vaccinated. Clinic staff tried three times to administer the vaccine shot to Graeme but were unsuccessful. After reaching out to her MLA's office, Graeme's mother, Joan Rush, was put in touch with VCH's homebound vaccination team who showed up to Graeme's house the very next day! After three attempts, the homebound vaccination team was able to vaccinate Graeme in a familiar and safe environment with the support of his family caregivers.
"We're so grateful and relieved. The lovely nurse who normally works in Richmond was supportive and she persevered. It took three attempts, but they made it happen," said Joan.
Dr. Matthew Kwok, an Emergency Physician at Richmond Hospital, was working at the Cambie Secondary Vaccine Clinic on May 26, when it just so happened that his daughter and youngest son had vaccination appointments booked for that day. It was his son's birthday and, as a very unique and memorable birthday present, he was able to get immunized by his dad. Dr. Kwok also immunized his 85-year old mother in March at the River Rock clinic.
"It meant so much to me to be able to vaccinate the oldest (my mom) and the youngest (my son) members of my family, and encourage everyone in my community to get vaccinated," said Dr. Kwok.
Thank you to our community members who have joined us at one of our COVID-19 vaccination clinics as well as staff, medical staff and volunteers across VCH and for helping to keep our communities healthy and safe.