Smooth sailing

People waited less than an hour early Monday afternoon at Red Deer’s first H1N1 immunization clinic open to general public.

Registered Nurse Karen Skripitsky holds up her station number to indicate that she ready to give another flu shot.

Registered Nurse Karen Skripitsky holds up her station number to indicate that she ready to give another flu shot.

People waited less than an hour early Monday afternoon at Red Deer’s first H1N1 immunization clinic open to general public.

Only about 40 people were waiting for the doors to open at 12:30 p.m. at the Harvest Centre at the Westerner. By 1 p.m., about 100 people had moved through the registration process, with the majority already injected.

Each person was given a number in case they wanted to leave and come back. But there was little reason to leave.

“It was good. They were well organized,” said Mary Aunger, of Red Deer, who waited about half an hour to get her vaccination.

About 25 nurses were working at the clinic.

Lori Henneigh, public health manager for Red Deer, said it’s been smooth sailing.

“We have a few more nurses then when we started and we have a better idea what to expect then when we first started,” Henneigh said.

Alberta’s immunization program shut down about three weeks ago when crowds stood in lineups for hours to get vaccinated.

Clinics reopened to people at risk of complications from the influenza, and gradually the number of people eligible increased.

Henneigh did expect the wait time to grow Monday afternoon when school let out and more families started arriving.

Last Friday, vaccination was opened up to families with children under 18 and 862 people came out in Red Deer. On Saturday, 780 people were vaccinated.

Red Deer hospital’s emergency department staff saw 14 people with flu-like symptoms on Sunday, eight people on Saturday, and five on Friday.

Today (TUESNOV24) a clinic will run at Westerner Park Harvest Centre from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. followed by a clinic on Saturday (Nov. 28) at Kentwood Alliance Church, 4 Kennedy Dr., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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