CHRISTIAN ISLAND, ONT. -- After a long journey of isolation, members Beausoleil First Nation have received their first doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

A helicopter carrying hundreds of Pfizer-BioNTech vials landed on Christian Island at 8:32 a.m. Friday. Acting Community Health Nurse Mary Paille called the arrival the start of "COVID banishment day number one."

Judy Jamieson and her husband were first in line for a shot at a recreation centre.

"We're privileged. We're happy to get it," Jamieson said. "At least we'll get to see our grandchildren and great-grandchildren a little while longer."

Chief Guy Monague expects 200 doses will be administered daily, beginning with elders. Ninety-Four percent of the residents of Christian Island have signed up for a vaccine.

"It brings so much hope, said Paille. "To have so many people in the community having chosen to do this, it just means we can start to breathe a little easier."

Members of the Beausoleil First Nation will receive second doses of the Pfizer vaccine on March 22 and 23.