Sunday, November 8, 2009


this post is 2 weeks late... ouups!

Who hasn't had it yet? Who isn't tired of being bombarded with desired and not so desired information about this infamous flu? Information overload anyone?(!)

Almost 400 dead in a week... ok, but doesn't the seasonal flu cause as much havoc? Doesn't the seasonal flu kill as many? Perhaps, however, this flu seems to be causing more panic, and, differently from the seasonal flu, AH1N1 attacks healthy, vibrant individuals, it kills perfectly healthy 13 year old hockey players. It causes more complications and it is more easily transmitted.... so then why are so many hesitant about getting vaccinated?

Officials worried that so many would hesitate getting this shot. They recruited the media in soliciting the mass population to get vaccinated in what I would call a "scare campaign". The result, a greater than anticipated outcome... The result... CHAOS!

Here's my experience with the vaccination campaign:

For us, there was no debate. We were getting vaccinated to protect the family, but mainly to protect Logan, who is now 4 weeks old. (ok, I'm two weeks late with this post, he's 6 weeks)! Still, he has no protection, and I couldn't forgive myself if one of us contracted the flu and passed it on to my sweet Logi.

We received the documentation indicating that we had to go to the vaccination centre attached to our "belonging CLSC". Well, mine is Richelieu, and they don't have a vaccination centre. So... that left 2 choices: Haut Richelieu, and then St-Hubert. I called the information line, and THEY instructed that we go to St-Hubert. Early that morning we packed the familia. My mother had slept at my house so she could get vaccinated with us. She had called beforehand to make sure that her reasons (being in direct contact with my newborn frequently) were valid for her to be a priority. Plus, she verified that it was alright for her to be vaccinated in St-Hubert when her belonging centre was Longueuil. We got to the centre. The place was packed.... PACKED! We found parking in the shopping centre across the street. Dan and my mother went ahead to wait in line, while I stayed with my boys in the car... There was no way I was going to make my boys wait in line, outside in the cold, for what would probably be hours. Suffice to say, after 3 and a half hours of waiting (myself nursing my baby and entertaining my toddler all at once in a stationary car)... Dan and my mother were turned back, with the pretense that we were referred to the wrong centre. Arrrgggh....

The next day, we geared up... brought toys and snacks and headed out to the ''correct'' centre. Dan waited in line, this time alone, and again, I stayed in the car with the boys and Alexina. Dan was given coupons... but, was told that one representative for the family had to stay in line (so what was the use for the coupons!?!)... Anyways, five and half hours later, we were in the building (finally)... getting vaccinated.

Noah was a champ.... and, well, I'll refrain from commenting on how it went with Alexina... let's just say, she's costly (meaning, three nurses were needed)... oye. :-)

Opinions: For starters... This flu didn't just happen. We've been hearing about it and this possible pandemic for six months now, you'd think that they would have had the time to think up some better ideas as how to make this vaccination campaign more ffective!!!, No?

I mean, Aside from the long wait times. Aside from the coupon strategy being introduced rather late and in a way that wasn't very effective at first. Aside from seeing people wait hours to be turned back because there just weren't enough doses...Aside from seeing immuno suppressed individuals and mothers of newborns wait in the cold for hours, having to nurse outside. Aside from children under five waiting outside, and babies being in unchanged diapers.....Wait... That's just it, all these issues should not be cast aside. These issues made the vaccination campaign be an utter failure.

The biggest irritant for myself however, was the wrong information given to myself and to my mother, in two distinct phone calls. That wrong information had my family and I live through all the issues mentionned above, not once, but twice! With such incompetence over the phone... I understand why the adminstrators of this campaign weren't able to hire more admin people to take calls and give appointments '' your family will be vaccinated between 10-11h00 am.." Everyone seems to have a bright idea as to what would work better...My take: Sure it would have necessitated more man power adminstratively, but wouldn't having phone appointment times have eliminated all the havoc!?! Just sayin'...

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