A Filipina worker became one of the first recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in Canada, the Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines said on Tuesday.
Ambassador Peter MacArthur tweeted that Anita Quidangen, who has been working at a Canadian long-term care facility for nearly three decades, is “originally from the Philippines.” He called her a “healthcare hero,” who has worked “tirelessly throughout COVID-19, sometimes on double shifts.”
Quidangen is the first person to be vaccinated in the Canadian province of Ontario, as the country began rolling out an initial 30,000 doses.
In a Facebook post, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Quidangen and all frontline workers for their sacrifices amid the pandemic.
A video he shared also showed those present during the monumental vaccination broke into applause after Quidangen received her shot.
“These vaccinations mark a big step forward in our fight against this virus,” Trudeau wrote. “But they don’t mean we’re out of the woods,” he added, urging citizens to remain vigilant and continue following health protocols.
It also announced it would spend about $400 million more to help developing countries access testing, therapeutics and vaccines. Federal officials said they have so far contributed more than $800 million in the global effort to help developing countries cope with COVID-19.
The country has logged over 472,000 confirmed cases, placing just one notch above the Philippines in the global list, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Of the total infected in Canada, 13,570 died while 385,021 were able to recover.