Ben Leung, 99, of Port Alberni receives his first Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at Port Alberni’s mass immunization clinic at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Monday, March 15, 2021. Leung only qualified this week because he is not living in a long-term care home. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Ben Leung, 99, of Port Alberni receives his first Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at Port Alberni’s mass immunization clinic at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Monday, March 15, 2021. Leung only qualified this week because he is not living in a long-term care home. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Words of experience: Island man, 99, urges others to get vaccinated

Alberni’s Ben Leung among those baring their arms as COVID-19 vaccination clinics open on the Island

When Port Alberni’s mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic opened on Monday, March 15 at the Alberni Athletic Hall, 99-year-old Ben Leung made sure he had an appointment.

Leung grinned as he walked to Station No. 4, where a registered nurse asked him a series of questions before asking in which arm he would like to receive his first COVID-19 vaccination. People at the clinic Monday received the Moderna vaccine.

“It was very easy; no pain at all,” he said once he was finished and sitting in the waiting area until he could leave. Despite his age, Leung had to wait until the community clinic to be vaccinated because he is still living at home and not in a long-term care facility.

RELATED: Half of Canadians want first COVID-19 vaccine available: poll

RELATED: Vancouver Island clinics prepare for mass immunizations to start

Leung and his daughter, Susanna Eng, wanted to share their experience to encourage their family and friends to consider getting the vaccine. “It’s to protect myself and my family; for everybody,” said Leung, who is the first in his family to receive a vaccination. Leung and Eng ran the Jade Restaurant on lower Third Avenue for decades before it closed.

Although Leung is still driving, his daughter Susanna Eng brought him to the Athletic Hall clinic on Monday. “I drove here because he was too excited,” Eng said.

Eng said she will be back to the clinic on Wednesday for her own vaccination.

There was a steady number of people arriving at the Athletic Hall for their vaccinations on Monday. Watching her father, Bernie Hill, 90, receive his vaccination was emotional for Shirley DeRusha, who teared up as soon as the RN finished with the needle.

“I’m very happy,” Hill said.

Anyone receiving their vaccinations on Monday was told to start calling in June for their second dose.

An immunization clinic was also open at the Port Alberni Friendship Center on Fourth Avenue.

Information about community clinic locations and who qualifies next for vaccinations can be found on Island Health’s website.

To make an appointment, an eligible person or someone calling on their behalf can call 1-833-348-4787 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week. Call centre operators will ask for legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number, phone number and an e-mail address.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusIsland HealthPORT ALBERNI

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ben Leung, 99, and his daughter Susanna Eng sit in the waiting area of Island Health’s massCOVID-19 immunization clinic at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Monday, March 15, 2021. Leung just received his first Moderna vaccination and was waiting the prescribed amount of time before he could leave. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Ben Leung, 99, and his daughter Susanna Eng sit in the waiting area of Island Health’s massCOVID-19 immunization clinic at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Monday, March 15, 2021. Leung just received his first Moderna vaccination and was waiting the prescribed amount of time before he could leave. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Bernie Hill, 90, of Port Alberni receives his first Moderna COVID-19 vaccination on Monday, March 15, 2021. Hill was part of the first day of Port Alberni’s mass immunization clinic at the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Bernie Hill, 90, of Port Alberni receives his first Moderna COVID-19 vaccination on Monday, March 15, 2021. Hill was part of the first day of Port Alberni’s mass immunization clinic at the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Just Posted

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Victoria’s bylaw restricting sheltering in parks won’t apply to those who accept indoor housing when it comes back into effect on May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bylaw restricting sheltering in parks won’t apply to those who accept indoor housing

The bylaw banning daytime camping in public parks will be reinstated on May 1

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

The Sooke Regional Spotlight, presented by the Federation of B.C. Writers (FBCW), features readings by nine established and emerging Sooke Region authors. (Pixabay.com)
Sooke authors to shine in province-wide event

Nine local writers star in an online ‘spotlight’ presentation

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP, investigating explosion in Harewood, also came across an alcohol still on the property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Shannon Zirnhelt, from left, her son Lockie, 3, Julia Zirnhelt, 13, and Ella Krus, 13, co-founders of Third Planet Crusade are featured in a music video set to air on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: B.C.-made music video launched in time for Earth Day 2021

Singer songwriter Shannon Zirnhelt worked with Third Planet Crusade on the project in the Cariboo

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

B.C. Ferries’ sixth Island-class vessel launches at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The ship is the second of two that will service the Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route starting in 2022. (Photo submitted)
Second hybrid ferry for Nanaimo-Gabriola route launched overseas

Island-class vessel will enter service in 2022

Most Read