Arnold Pipke, 92, was among the first seniors in Red Deer to receive the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Alberta Health Services)

Arnold Pipke, 92, was among the first seniors in Red Deer to receive the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Alberta Health Services)

Two Red Deer seniors among first to receive Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Irene and Arnold Pipke hope vaccine helps them celebrate 70th wedding anniversary with family

A signal of hope in the fight against COVID-19 has arrived for seniors in Red Deer.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine landed in the province Tuesday and was administered to seniors in long-term care and supportive living facilities Wednesday afternoon.

The first two continuing care residents immunized in Red Deer were Irene Pipke, 86, and Arnold Pipke, 92. The happily married couple are residents of the Hamlets at Red Deer, and are hopeful that their family can get together in August when they celebrate their 70th anniversary.

In addition to that celebration, Irene has a few other items she hopes to get done now that she’s received the vaccination.

“I haven’t been shopping since Dec. 14 of 2019 because of weather and COVID, so I’m looking forward to going to the mall when the pandemic is over,” she said.

Arnold added that he was happy to be first in line.

“COVID is scary, so it’s nice to get this done. I sure think everyone should get the vaccine,” he said.

More than 16,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in the province this week and will be administered to residents in long-term care and supportive living in the coming days.

Red Deer reported 277 active cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. Four people have died from the virus in the city since the start of the pandemic.



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Irene Pipke, 86, was among the first seniors in Red Deer to receive the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Alberta Health Services)

Irene Pipke, 86, was among the first seniors in Red Deer to receive the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Alberta Health Services)