Last year was a difficult challenging year – a year in which the world faced a pandemic of such sweeping proportions as to leave no person untouched. But it was also the year where the world came together as one to fight the same fight. As we move into the new year, we see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. COVID-19 vaccines – plural – are being administered to our most vulnerable group with a gradual ramping up to broader groups and ultimately, all British Columbians.
There are a number of vaccines on their way, all of which I am confident will be manufactured and distributed in record time. There are bound to be hiccups along the way and physicians and healthcare partners face a task of monumental proportions. But the job will get done, I am sure of that.
Last year’s flu shot campaign was a dress rehearsal for the big show. We experienced challenges, but we overcame them and we learned from them. And when all was said and done, a record number of flu shots were given in a record amount of time. Physicians were front and center then and we will again be front and center as we embark upon the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. We will use our knowledge and our experience when it comes to administering the vaccine in phases. We will leverage our relationships with patients and communities to combat fear, misinformation, and ignorance. We will lead the beginning of the end of this pandemic.
Like most of the world, I am happy to say good-bye to 2020. But as I do I choose to focus on the positives that emerged last year – the amazing work of physicians around our province who showed courage and resilience under extraordinary pressure. We have grown from this experience and will be the stronger for it. 2020 was an extraordinary time in history, but 2021 is already history in the making. And it will continue to be as it becomes the year we surmount COVID-19. So for that, I see 2021 as a year of hope and optimism.