I must commend Haldimand and Norfolk Health and Social Services for the quality and efficiency of the agency’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
I received the first of my Pfizer doses last week at the Delhi arena in what I can best describe as a first-class operation from top to bottom. From arrival to departure, it functioned like a well-oiled machine. People moved in and out smoothly, there was no confusion whatsoever, and everyone left knowing he or she was one step closer to returning to a normal world.
It was like a factory assembly line, really. A gentleman at the door handed me a fresh disposable mask to replace the one I wore upon arrival and then directed me to a desk where I checked in for my appointed time and was screened for COVID symptoms. From there I was directed to take a seat in a particular row of chairs situated on the ice-less arena floor. It was almost like a game of musical chairs for a few minutes as each person advanced one seat at a time toward the front of the line. Upon reaching the front chair, we were summoned to a desk where – partitioned by a sheet of plexiglass – another worker filled us in on the clinic’s next set of steps and briefed us on the dose’s potential side effects.
We were then assigned to the back seat in another row of chairs that led to the vaccination station. Following this second game of musical chairs, the dose was administered and we were handed a piece of painter’s tape marked with the time that had been set for 15 minutes from the moment the shot was given. Before proceeding to the rest-area chairs, we sanitized our hands at another table and were handed some literature about the vaccine and its possible side effects.
Paramedics patrolled the rest area, sanitizing newly vacated chairs and keeping tabs on the time. When the time marked on the piece of painter’s tape matched the actual time, we were directed to one last line that led to a table where we were assigned an appointment for our second dose. The entire process took about 45 minutes.
The clinic was extremely well organized and went off without a hitch. I’m sure clinics elsewhere in the region and throughout the province and country have been functioning just as well as the Delhi clinic.
Thankfully, I experienced no side effects afterwards, other than a slightly sore upper arm.
With each passing day, the number of Canadians being vaccinated continues to increase. The lack of available doses that hampered the vaccination process a short while ago seems to have corrected itself. The encouraging news of late about significant quantities becoming more readily available can only help in speeding up the process and beating down the number of daily reported positive cases.
Vaccines are now being offered to younger people and those with special medical circumstances, and the waiting period is starting to shrink. This is good. ICU admissions in Ontario are starting to decline, and fewer people are being hospitalized, according to weekend news reports.
Summer is coming and we need to return to traditional seasonal activities, for the sake of both our physical and mental well-being. As the vaccination numbers continue to rise, the spread will slow, fewer people will be admitted to hospital, and we should be able to enjoy many of these currently restricted activities that we want and need so badly.