Martin Payne was one of the first people in the world to get a COVID vaccine, but the Canadian physician and nurse was not prepared for the devastation the virus caused.
He was on his way to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to give a lecture when he was diagnosed with the virus.
Payne said he had no idea what to expect and had to go to the emergency room.
“The nurses and the doctors, they didn’t really tell me what was going on.
And then when they called me back they were like, ‘No, we don’t have the vaccine, so we’re not going to do it.'”
But Payne has now become one of many Canadians who are benefiting from the vaccine.
The first COVID vaccines have been given to 1,500 people in Ontario, and the number is growing rapidly.
The vaccines are available to all Ontario residents who have a prescription for the shots.
The shots cost $125 and are covered by the Ontario Ministry of Health, which administers the vaccine program.
Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews says the province is seeing a sharp rise in the number of people in need of COVID vaccinations.
“It’s really an incredible time for our province,” Matthews said in a statement.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of COVEts, which is a disease which is caused by coronavirus.
It has spread rapidly across Canada, and we need to ensure that the vaccines are as safe and effective as possible.”
Ontario Health says it’s not sure how many people will receive the shots, but hopes that at least 10 per cent of those who need them will.
People who don’t get vaccinated will receive a booster shot.
“This is an unprecedented number of vaccine doses being given, and it’s important that all Ontarians have access to the vaccines as soon as possible,” Matthews added.
Ontario has a total of 6,300 COVID cases, with more than 2,000 deaths.
The province is now in the final stages of determining the number and type of vaccine recipients and is trying to determine how many of those people will get the shots or be offered the vaccine at no cost.
It’s also investigating whether people who have been in the area should get the vaccine as well.
People in the Toronto area, the GTA, and parts of the Montreal area have already received the vaccines.
The vaccine is expected to go on sale in Canada on July 15.