WINNIPEG -- Manitoba’s top doctor and grand chief have officially received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Friday, Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, and MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee went to the Manitoba Clinic to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. The shot was administered by Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead for Manitoba’s Vaccination Task Force.

Garrison SetteeGrand Chief Garrison Settee gets the COVID-19 vaccine on March 19, 2021. (Image supplied by the MKO)

In a statement, Settee said he is extremely pleased to have received his first dose.

“I have been waiting for my turn to receive the vaccine and now that the time has arrived, I thank both Dr. Joss Reimer and Dr. Brent Roussin for the work they have been doing to help the Province of Manitoba respond to the pandemic,” he said.

“I was pleased to receive my vaccine alongside Dr. Roussin this morning in Winnipeg.”

Settee said he chose to receive the COVID-19 because he wants to protect himself, loved ones and colleagues. 

“I want to protect the wider community,” he said.

“If many of us choose to take the vaccine, the virus will have less places where it can travel and thrive. This means the virus will spread less easily.”

He said another reason he decided to get the vaccine is that so many people have lost loved ones to complications from COVID-19.

“We have lived with the pandemic for more than one year now,” he said. 

“Getting my vaccine provides me with a sense of hope that soon we will be able to move on and work towards a new normal where we can resume some of the activities we have been missing over the last year. I look forward to seeing all MKO citizens ages 18 plus have the opportunity to get vaccinated in the near future.”