Friday, October 30, 2009

H1N1 shots for the girls (and dad)

Three of us got our vaccines today.  The girls will have to go back in 3 weeks as they just got half-doses.

I got the shot because I have asthma.  I would have waited, but made the choice that they set up the priority groups for a reason, and I may as well follow their system.

We got to Tom Brown Arena at 1:30 with Lucy (Rebecca was at school) planning to get the shots for the two of us.  Madeleine was going to try to do Rebecca tomorrow.

There were what looked like a couple hundred people in line outside.  The lineup was to get a number (on a bracelet), which determined when you could go in to get your shots.

It took 1 hour to get through the line and get the number, and they told us to come back around 5pm.  Rebecca was going to be done school, so I got her a number too.

We got back there at 5pm, but they were running a little slower than expected all day, so they were behind by 150 people, doing around 100 vaccinations/hour.

We got called inside a bit after 6pm, and got registered for our shots at around 7pm.  Then another 15-20 minutes of waiting before we got our shots, then 15 minutes where you're supposed to hang around in case of a bad reaction.

We were back in our car by around 7:45.

The delays seemed to be caused by problems with the load on their computerized registration system.  I'm not sure I can really blame them, as this is the first time there's been a mass immunization happening like this in recent times.  It sounds like things are going more and more smoothly every day.

Both girls have woken up crying, but that's not too new.  We gave Lucy some Tempra, and that seems to have settled her.

My arm is *%^$# sore right now, but otherwise I feel fine.

Yes, it made for a long afternoon/evening.  But you know what?  I feel incredibly fortunate.  A mass vaccination like they're doing is no small undertaking.  People were complaining about waiting in line to get a bracelet.  Well, the bracelets were to try to stem people from gaming the system, getting in line multiple times to get numbers for friends and relatives.  They weren't exactly strict about it, though.  I think if they have those rules they should be a little less flexible, as the rules were to ensure that the most vulnerable get the vaccinations *first*.  I can't think of a more fair way to dole out the shots.

Otherwise, yes, there were delays.  That's understandable though.  It's not like they can pull 50% of the nursing staff out of the hospitals or anything.  They had limited resources, and were making the best of it.  It's also pretty unprecedented to do a mass vaccination this quickly, with this short a turnaround from when the vaccines start coming off the line.

Yes, I know, the vaccine *probably* won't be preventing any deaths in my household, but it's the principle.  I'd rather we go through the procedure this time with a pandemic that *won't* be killing hundreds of thousands of people, than with one that *will*.  Next time I'm sure things will run more smoothly, and I'm fairly confident that there's going to be a next time.

No comments: