p.m., Oct. 26)
end residents flock to H1N1 vaccination clinic, hundreds end up getting
By Fred Sherwin
of specific priority groups waited for up to three hours to get their H1N1
flu shot on the first day of the city's free immunization program on Monday.
public information campaign combined with the public's growing fear of the
H1N1 virus resulted in an overwhelming turnout at swine flu vaccination
clinics across the city today, including at the Orléans Client Service Centre
where people had to be turned away two and a half hours after the doors
milling around the lobby of the Client Service Centre on Centrum Boulevard
at 1:30 p.m. By 2:15 p.m. more than 400 people had already been given numbers
and within 45 minutes, the crowd, which mainly consisted of young parents
with children under the age of five, had swelled to more than 600.
As more and more
people showed up, the estimated wait time exceeded three hours. By 5 p.m.
with close to 250 people having already received their flu shots and 700
still to go, public health officials decided to stop given out numbers and
started turning people away.
By and large,
most of the people who showed up for the clinic were among the targeted
groups which have been given priority to receive the H1N1 vaccine such as
pregnant women, children under the age of five, health care workers, and
anyone under the age of 65 who has an underlying medical condition such
as diabetes, asthma or heart disease.
Despite the general
sense of mass confusion, most people seemed willing to wait however long
it took to get their flu shot. The large number of preschool children were
especially patient given the circumstances.
one factor that caused the most confusion was the person's current health
status. Individuals who are currently battling a cold or other virus are
asked to wait until they are healthy before being immunized. That's because
their body's are currently producing antibodies to combat whatever illness
they currently have.
The H1N1 vaccine
is designed to trick the body into thinking that it has the real virus.
The body then produces antibodies to combat the fake virus, thus developing
and immunity to the real thing.
A number of people
waited for to two hours or more only to be sent home and told to come back
when they are healthier.
Chain Hull had
been waiting for nearly two hours to have her three-year-old son Blake immunized
when she found out that he couldn't receive the vaccine because he was already
Since she had
to come back again anyway to get her 12-year-old diabetic stepson immunized
she didn't mind the inconvenience.
anxious about it just from people talking about it and the various stories
I've read. I wasn't going to get immunized myself until I talked to my neighbour
who's a nurse and she convinced me," said Hull.
Brian Fleck was
one of the early arrivals. Despite showing up shortly after
2 p.m. he did not receive his flu shot until shortly after 4 p.m. As a diabetic,
Fleck says there was never any question he would among the first people
lined up for the voluntary vaccination program.
me its good for me so I believe them. I've never missed a flu shot since
they've been giving them out," says Fleck who works in sales.
was also an early arrival. As an asthmatic and a day care worker, she had
two very good reasons to get an H1N1 shot.
young kids and having the extra risk factor, I wanted to get it as soon
as I could," said Goddard.
Anyone who was
turned away from the clinic on Monday will have two more weeks to get immunized
before the general population gets their turn. The clinic will be open during
week days from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m.
Parents of young
children should be aware that the vaccine is administered in two half-doses,
three weeks apart. So they will have to visit the clinic twice.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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