PETAWAWA: On January 7, 2021, Private (Pte) Connor Doucette, a Medical Technician with 2 Field Ambulance Petawawa since October 2019, was the first Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
He received the vaccine from the initial CAF allotment as a result of his Priority 1 designation due to his occupation and current role in a clinical setting.
Various CAF bases and wings have now begun to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to Priority 1 personnel – CAF members who are frontline healthcare providers working in high-risk clinical settings or who have health conditions that make them vulnerable to severe forms of COVID-19.
We checked in with Pte Doucette a week after he was vaccinated to see how he was doing.
“I am feeling really great! I had a bit of soreness in my arm at the site of the injection, but nothing other than that,” said Pte Doucette.
He went on to say that he felt humbled to be invited by his chain of command to be a part of military history.
“I was very excited to be the first Canadian Armed Forces member to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and am honoured to be in a position to give hope to those around me.”
This was not surprising to hear given Pte Doucette’s positive demeanor, work ethic and general ability to help out anywhere and everywhere he is asked, according to his peers and supervisors.
Pte Doucette is scheduled to receive his second Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose on February 4, 2021. He is now encouraging all CAF personnel who want a COVID-19 vaccine to get one when it is available to them.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. For most people, side effects of the vaccine are generally mild to moderate and may include effects such as pain at the site of injection, body chills, feeling tired and feeling feverish.
These are all common, temporary side effects of vaccines that do not pose a risk to health. Although adverse reactions can occur in some individuals, these are rare. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to following public health measures including physical distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a mask, will help ensure the CAF remains operationally ready to be called upon when needed.
As the CAF COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, CAF members will be provided regular updates with important details about vaccine availability and priorities in the weeks and months ahead.
All eligible CAF members who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be offered an opportunity to be vaccinated.
Public service employees and Reserve Force personnel who are not eligible to receive their vaccine through the CAF are encouraged to receive their COVID-19 vaccination through their provincial or territorial health care provider once it becomes available.