MONTREAL -- With the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on their way to Canada, staff members at Maimonides Geriatric Centre were preparing to be among the first facilities in the country to administer doses.

“We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and the residents are so important to us,” said Lucie Tremblay, director of nursing for the regional health authority. “We're very happy and excited to know we're going to be able to protect them better.”

Maimonides residents are expected to begin receiving the vaccine on Tuesday. 

Among the first people who will receive the vaccine is 81-year-old Harvey Stoliart. His daughter, Joyce Shanks, serves on the Maimonides Family Advocacy Committee and said she hopes to see him once his fully immunized.

“In six weeks, I can hug my dad,” she said. “How cool is that?”

Kitra Cahana, whose father Rabbie is a Maimonides resident, said for him, getting the vaccine is doing the right thing for those around him.

“It's the greatest mitzvah in Judaism, the greatest act of love and kindness we can do. To get vaccinated is to protect and save lives,” she said.

According to the regional health board, the overwhelming majority of residents have agreed to get the vaccine. After they receive their shot, essential workers around them will also be vaccinated.

“We're vaccinating staff and residents all at the same time, but also those working with the frail and elderly,” said Tremblay.