Today, Teddy received dose 1 of his H1N1 vaccination. It went FAR better than I expected.
The doses were shipped to Canadian cities at the end of October, and priority groups were identified -- pregnant women, children 6 months-5 years, caregivers of children under 6 months, the immunocompromised or those who live with them, those with chronic health conditions, and the elderly. The uptake rate was anticipated to be around 40%. HA! From day 1, all the immunization centres were overrun (in all cities, it turns out). Waits for hours and hours outside in the cold - disaster. On the 2nd day, the City of Ottawa started tweeting wait times. GONG SHOW.
So, last weekend, the City started issuing wristbands. Wristbands were given out starting at 9 a.m. on a first-come-first-served basis for clincis that ran 2:30 - 8:30. You'd have to make 2 trips, but you'd be told to come back at a certain time and would be processed quickly.
Isha, who's pregnant, hit a clinic yesterday and let me know that things ran smoothly. She was 100% correct.
Teddy and I headed off to the nearest clinic this morning, arriving just before 9. There was a line-up of over 300 people, but the line snaked around the atrium of a building so we were waiting in comfort. We were in line for about 40 minutes. He hung out in his car-seat stroller and smiled at everyone around us in line. At the front of the line, OPH workers fitted me with a wristband (I had to wear it, since unscrupulous people had been SELLING THEM earlier in the week) and told us to come back at 4 pm.
We headed back at just before 4 to find that they were running ahead of schedule. We headed up to the vaccination area, where they verified my Driver's License and Teddy's Health Card, as well as all the paperwork. Then, we stood in a 10 person line until a nurse was free.
The nurse was incredibly friendly and beamed right back at laughing Teddy. She reviewed the screening questions, then got the dose ready. She administered the shot in Teddy's left thigh. And the kid? Made a sour face for 10 seconds, then went back to smiling at the nurse. Once we finished, we headed to the waiting area for 15 minutes, hung out with some of the people we'd been in line with in the morning, then came home.
All in all, it was far less hassle than I'd anticipated. Teddy will need another shot, but it has to be at least 21 days from now. I figure that we'll take him when Dave and I go to get our shots in a few weeks.
I was so impressed with Ottawa Public Health! Their staff have been working 18 hour days for 2 weeks, dealing with the irate public. But EVERYONE I dealt with was friendly and efficient. They clearly learned from the disastrous early days and are rocking right now.
My current worry? That Teddy will be totally punky tomorrow for his first night away from us and home at the same time. He's sleeping at my Mom and Dad's tomorrow night because of the Movie Marathon at our house. If he's really rough, I will be staying there too. The house is stocked with enough food to last for a while, though, so the marathoners will be well fed!