Unfortunately, all the media coverage seems negative to me. For better or worse, here is my story.
I am an immuno-compromised senior qualifying for vaccination. So on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 8:30 a.m., I began to apply. I expected it to be a lengthy process and wasn’t disappointed. After many “error” messages and busy signals on 811, at about 1:30 that afternoon I got in. Early in the process, my postal code was requested, which I now realize was connecting me to information on the nearest clinic. A list of available appointment times on Feb. 26 was given for me to select the one which suited me best. I was pleasantly surprised.
That Friday afternoon, accompanied by my daughter, we drove to 137 Ave. The traffic in the parking area was congested and slow, but we found a spot without too much trouble, and sat in the car until five minutes before the appointment time, as instructed. As we approached the door (with several other people) we were advised by the security man to come back in an hour because they were running late. Happily, there was a Tim Hortons close by so we sat in the car and had a snack.
Once in the building, which was a large vacant retail unit, there was of course a lineup zig-zagging through a serpentine. First stop was two ladies with hand sanitizer. We were asked to remove our masks and given a new one. As we progressed, I was watching all the activity and couldn’t help thinking of what a monumental task it must have been, from an organizational and logistics point of view, to organize events like this on a national scale. Next stop, I.D. verification, then a short line to actual registration with ID and Alberta Health card. Then another short line until a lady escorted us to the next available nurse. I think there were 25 inoculation stations.
The nurse kindly explained the process and possible side effects which were mostly quite mild. As she drew the vaccine from the vial which looked almost empty, I asked was I number six. I was. I barely felt the jab.
We moved on to the seating area where we had to sit for a precautionary 10 to 15 minutes.
As we left the building (there were no more people waiting outside though still a line inside), the security man was between the doors waving his arms and blowing into his hands. I realized that he had been standing outside in the cold all day politely directing and answering questions. Earlier the nurse had told me she had been there since 8:30 that morning. We were leaving just before 6 p.m., and I had no complaints. Quite an experience. When I go for my second shot, I’m sure practice will have made perfect. After all, this was only day 2.
My grateful thanks go to all those involved for a job well done. Thank you AHS, and thank you Canada.
P.S.: after 48 hours, not a single side effect.
Irene Walker, St. Albert