Michael Kovrig receives first dose of COVID vaccine at east Toronto pharmacy – .

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Michael Kovrig receives first dose of COVID vaccine at east Toronto pharmacy – .


When eastern pharmacist Kyro Maseh learned that Michael Kovrig had returned home and planned to visit his clinic to receive his first dose of the vaccine, he was surprised and delighted to be a part of it.

The pharmacist gave Kovrig his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday afternoon, but not before welcoming him to the pharmacy with music – including the aptly titled song “Coming Home” by local musician City and Color – and the applause of the pharmacy staff.

Maseh, who said he was friends with Kovrig’s sister and has been in close contact with the family for updates on the case over the past few years, told the Star that he quickly called to congratulate her on Kovrig’s arrival at the house.

During the phone call, Maseh learned that plans were already underway to have Kovrig vaccinated and that they had planned to come see him, due to the low stress level, relaxed environment of his clinic, Maseh said.

“It was one of the top priorities for him,” Maseh said of Kovrig’s desire to get his first dose.

Patients at Maseh’s pharmacy will recognize the kind of welcome that awaited Kovrig when he arrived for his appointment. The pharmacist spent the pandemic injecting some joy into situations wherever he could – including a viral video in April, which showed Maseh and his staff shooting confetti cannons, performing a dance choreography to the song of LMFAO “Shots” and celebrating 1,000 doses administered vaccines.

Kovrig’s vaccination was a welcome juxtaposition, Maseh said, of a weekend in which anti-vaccine protesters claimed that the passports for the vaccines were a violation of their personal freedoms and were trying to force passage through the Center. Eaton.

“I think (Kovrig) is more qualified to talk about the value of freedom than most on this planet,” Maseh said. “He felt that in order to exercise his freedom, he had to first ensure his safety. And that’s exactly why he got the shot.

Maseh asked if he could share their interaction on Twitter, to encourage more people to schedule their fix, and Kovrig agreed. Maseh said some people reacting to the post suggested the date had been arranged, and some texted him privately to falsely suggest that the Canadian government was using Kovrig “as a pawn” for vaccination.

“The government has nothing to do with it at all,” Maseh said.

Kovrig arrived in Canada on Saturday morning and reunited with his wife, Vina Nadjibulla, and sister, Ariana Botha, after spending more than 1,000 days in a Chinese prison. He was released alongside fellow inmate Michael Spavor hours after senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with US prosecutors to drop an extradition warrant and allow him to return to China. The Chinese government has denied releasing Kovrig and Spavor in exchange for Wanzhou’s release.

Jenna Moon is a breaking news reporter for The Star and is based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @_jennamoon



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