Horizon ICU nurse, vaccinated by her mother, is first health care provider in NB to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Nicolette Noel, registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital, is New Brunswick’s and Horizon’s first health care worker to receive the COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday, Dec. 19. Nicolette’s mother, Nanette Noel, a Public Health nurse, was the one to administer the vaccine.

As mother and daughter, Miramichi’s Nanette and Nicolette Noel have many marvelous holiday memories.

With a last name like Noel, how could they not?

But there’s certainly not been one as memorable as this.

This morning, Nicolette, a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital (MRH), was the first health care provider in New Brunswick to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The bow on top of this joyful Christmastime moment?

She was vaccinated by her mother, Nanette, a Public Health nurse with Horizon.

The historic event took place at New Brunswick’s first COVID-19 immunization clinic, held at MRH today and Sunday.

A total of 1,950 doses have been prepared for priority groups, including nursing home residents and workers, as well as frontline health care workers, like Nicolette.

For the young ICU nurse, who has been in the field for 2.5 years, being among the first in the province to receive her first dose was exciting – but also just another healthy habit.

“For me, vaccines are a normal part of my life,” she said. “I’ve always been vaccinated.”

She understands the science and benefits of vaccines, and is getting vaccinated to protect not only herself and her loved ones, but also her patients.

Even though Nicolette is equipped in the personal protective equipment (PPE) she needs to protect her from this virus when she’s at work, Nanette, as a mother, still worries about her daughter going to work in a unit where patients are at their most vulnerable.

To know her daughter – as well as the high-risk patients she cares for – will soon be protected and can protect others, is more than comforting.

After their second dose, scheduled three weeks’ after the first, the vaccine will provide 95 per cent protection from the virus to Nicolette and others – and security to her mother.

To be part of her such an important moment with her daughter is a memory Nanette will not forget.

“She also tells me I give a great needle,” she laughed.

Nanette, a nurse with 31 years’ experience, also gave the first shot to the first New Brunswicker to be vaccinated, Shannex long-term care resident Pauline Gauvin, as well as the first employee from Vitalité Health Network – Dr. Carl Boucher, Family and Emergency Department physician – and the first Medavie Health Service New Brunswick employees – Ambulance New Brunswick paramedic Joël LeFort and Extra-Mural Program nurse Mandy Whalen.

As more vaccine arrives in the province, more clinics will be held in more communities and the public will be advised of additional priority groups eligible for vaccinations.

Vaccinating New Brunswickers will be a major undertaking expected to take most of 2021 in order to get as many New Brunswickers as possible vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19.