H1N1 Vaccination Experience

Today our entire family got vaccinated at Richmond Hill, Ontario.  We went to the Rouge Woods Community Centre.

Their clinic hours were from 12pm to 8pm.  My wife, Carol, started to wait in line from 10am and I relieved her at around 11:30pm.  Suffice it to say that the line wasn’t moving and waiting outside wasn’t too bad.  Luckily we had a sunny autumn day to accompany us.  Carol brought a couple of chairs so we didn’t have to stand all the time.  She and my youngest boy, Kalen, went back home for lunch while I continue to wait.
They assessed the people in line and handed numbers as we approach 12pm.  People who were honest and did not meet the “high” risk criteria were asked to come back another day.  I have to thank those people for their honesty.  I’m not sure if I would be that honest given the circumstances.  By the way, the high risk group is defined as:

  • People under age 65 with chronic health conditions
    (such as diabetes, asthma, cancer or a condition that

    affects the heart, liver, lung, or immune system)

  • Pregnant women
  • Healthy children aged six months to less than five years
  • People living in remote and isolated settings or communities
  • Health care workers
  • Household contacts and care providers of infants under six months or persons who may not respond to vaccines
    Note: Children from six months to nine years of age should receive the vaccine in two half-doses, given at least 21 days apart. Individuals 10 years of age and older should receive one dose of the vaccine.
    H1N1 flu vaccine can be given at the same time as seasonal flu shot and other vaccines.
Things were pretty organized considering.  There were ample security staff supplemented by police officers to manage the crowd.  At around 12:30pm, we got inside.  Once inside, the community centre opened up a gym filled with chairs so we can wait for our numbers to be called.  I called Carol to come back in case our numbers are called.  She pulled Jason, our eldest son, out of school and along with Kalen return to the community centre at around 2pm.  I had to talk to the security guards so that they can be allowed into the community centre.

Our family waited at the gymnasium for about 20 minutes or so, and we were called at around 2:20pm.  We were then briefed by a health worker on the nature of the vaccine, followed by a very short queue and in front of the EMS personnel we went.  The children were vaccinated first with a little fuss from Kalen, but both boys braved the episode pretty well.  The room were packed with kids some were crying, shouting, and forcibly resisting from the episode.  I feel sorry for those parents.
We were supposed to wait in the room for 15 minutes, but given the crowded nature of the room, we decided to leave and call it a day.  All in all from line up to finish, we spent 5 hours to get our entire family vaccinated in the Richmond Hill area.  Good luck to you should you choose to get it as well.

The other clinic locations are:

Clinic dates and locations:
Vellore Village Community Centre
1 Villa Royale Avenue, Vaughan – Map
*Monday to Friday, 12 p.m to 8p.m *Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Ray Twinney Complex 
100 Eagle Street West, Newmarket – Map
*Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. *Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m to 5p.m
Sutton Kin Community Hall 
3 Fairpark Lane, Sutton – Map
*Mondays and Wednesdays only, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Clinic open Monday, November 2

Rouge Woods Community Centre 
110 Shirley Drive, Richmond Hill – Map
*Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. *Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m 
Clinic open Monday, November 2

8100 Warden Avenue 
Former Markham Hydro building, Markham – Map
Seven days a week
*Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. *Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m 

Clinic open Monday, November 2

The H1N1 vaccine will be available to everyone else as more vaccine becomes available. For electronic tracking purposes only, we encourage you to bring your Health Card and/or Driver’s Licence to the clinic. Vaccine will be offered to residents who attend the clinic without their health card.Some family physicians may also provide the H1N1 vaccine.
Clinic dates and times may be subject to change.  Before going to a location check clinic information at www.york.ca/h1n1 or call York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.