BRANDON — Despite a glitch in text messaging for the Brandon vaccination "super site" appointments, its first COVID -19 vaccinations took place as planned Monday morning.

Joanna Robb, who works at Shared Health’s Westman Regional Laboratory, was first in line; co-worker Kirsten Boyce was second. The two work with body-fluid samples, primarily screening for cancer and pre-cancerous changes.

Both said they were happy to receive the vaccine.

Robb said she has a co-worker with family in Saskatchewan who hasn’t seen her parents since the summer. Robb has three children, including a daughter in Grade 12, who is experiencing a tumultuous final year in school.

"Everything is just upside-down and to just have this hope that the vaccine is actually happening here in Brandon, now, it’s hopeful. It’s definitely moving the right way.. but, we have to be patient and wait."

Boyce said her experience was "easy peasy."

"Seeing how we just heard that they’re paring things back for now (due to Manitoba supply issues), I’m just so, so grateful to have the opportunity to be one of the people that actually gets it so soon. I’m super excited to get this done. I was talking with my family last night… My brother is like, ‘I have major vaccine envy,’" Boyce said.

Robb said the flow through the various stations at the Keystone site went smoothly. Neither felt the effects of the text issue, in which the Quebec-based company employed with reminding Manitobans of vaccination bookings sent the address of the Winnipeg site to hundreds who were booked for Brandon appointments.

The province, via a spokesperson, admitted appointment reminder texts were sent with an incorrect address to 558 people with Monday appointments at the Keystone Centre.

"The human error was quickly addressed by a followup text. Government is conducting a review to ensure the service provider is held accountable and that the mistake does not occur again. People with appointments are asked to keep them as scheduled," the spokesperson stated.

— Brandon Sun