Tamara Dus didn't know she was administering the first COVID-19 vaccine dose in Ontario until the night before it happened.
But Dus — who is the director of health services at Toronto's University Health Network (UHN) — tells Narcity that she was thrilled to be a part of the "groundbreaking changes" that the vaccines represent.
It is so exciting to think that we could see a better 2021 than what we did in 2020.
Dus gave Ontario's first COVID-19 vaccine dose to Anita Quidangen, a health care worker at the Rekai Centre in Toronto, on December 14.
Dus has continued to oversee vaccinations at UHN since then, but people still seem to be having the same reaction that Quidagen did.
"You can see the excitement and the sense of relief and pride that they're taking in getting this to protect themselves and their families and their patients," Dus says.
She says there are lots of selfies being taken, and she says people can get a badge to say they were vaccinated.
But Dus warns that getting your two doses doesn't mean life goes back to normal.
Dus says that while scientists know that the vaccine reduces your chance of getting COVID-19 and becoming seriously ill from it, they don't know enough about if people can still transmit the virus after getting vaccinated.
"At this point in time we are not advising people change any of the social distancing and/or masking [parameters]," Dus says.
But she emphasizes that the vaccines are safe and that people should sign up to get their doses as soon as it's available.
Dus says that even now, she still recognizes how amazing it is that we have access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
"I still got goosebumps now just talking about it," she says.