With moments to go, 14-year-old Elena Marchesan admits to having some pre-needle jitters.
“I’m not great with them,” said the Esquimalt High School student. “They make me really nervous, but I really care about this, like, I know it’s for the best.”
Also, it’s a day that’ll get her closer to returning to her happy place — performing on stage.
“I am so into theatre, it’s my whole life,” said Marchesan, prior to entering the Eagle Ridge Community Centre which has been converted into a COVID-19 vaccine site.
So when the provincial government recently announced 12- to 17-year-olds have become eligible to register for the COVID vaccine, Marchesan eagerly took her cue.
“The first day the announcement came out, that they could register, she registered and then she got her email and did her own booking,” said Diana Moffat, Elena’s mother.
Also in line at Eagle Ridge today was 15-year-old Jake Westhaver, who didn’t think twice when asked what he’s missed most over the past 14 months.
“Hockey, playing games,” said Westhaver, who’s been limited to physical distanced practices for well over a year.
The Victoria Admirals forward says he looks forward to hockey tournaments and hanging out with friends, but understands receiving the vaccine is about the big picture.
“So I can do my part to sort of help the world get back to normal,” said Westhaver.
And as Elena braces for impact, she feels much more than the prick of the needle.
“One of my friends had a very close family member get, like, severely effected by this [COVID-19] and I think until that moment I didn’t realize quite how big it was,” said Marchesan. “So it’s important to me to keep the people that we love safe.”
So with dose one of two complete, what’s the vaccine verdict?
“Barely even noticed it,” said Westhaver.
“It’s definitely a weight off my shoulders that I’ve been carrying for a little too long and a little too hard,” said Marchesan.
After a little over a year of uncertainty, for Jake and Elena, it takes just a few seconds for a little relief.