Online vaccine process simple and effective

A nurse draws a dose from a vaccine vial in Prince Albert. Photo courtesy SHA.

When my age finally came up for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility I was very happy. When that age opened up however there was high demand for appointments when my age group was eligible so I waited over a week to attempt to book online.

So on Sunday, April 25 I decided at random after seeing people I know had already been vaccinated in Prince Albert to attempt to book online. The process was relatively quick at around 10 minutes with only a health card number and location needed.

The appointment wound up on May 2 at Vincent Massey School in the early afternoon. That was a handy location which was also near where I live.

After the appointment was confirmed an email was sent with details about the appointment such as arriving five minutes before and ensuring you have a mask at all times. After the shot is completed you have to wait 15 minutes to insure there are no after effects.

On May 1, there were two texts and two email appointment reminders roughly 24 hours before the appointment time. There was then another pair of reminder texts and emails the day of the appointment.

Because it is my way I left about 15 minutes before the scheduled time and waited in my car for 10 minutes after I arrived.

When you walk into the appointment you show your health card and they ask you the usual questions you have come to expect in the COVID-19 pandemic. You are offered a mask, which I took and used the opportunity to double mask.

You have to show your health card in the gym itself and the person at the entrance finds your appointment.

When my nurse, JoAnne, took me when she became free she asked me a similar series of questions and outlined some of the possible side effects. She asks how you feel about getting the vaccination, I was excited, which she said was a common reaction. The shot of the day was the Pfizer vaccine and she explained that they either get Pfizer or Moderna depending on availability. She explained that the AstraZeneca goes to the drive thru when it is open and she has done shifts at both.

I explained what my usual side effects were from flu shots, sore arm and fatigue and was told to expect something similar as those are common side effects. I was told to expect side effects for a couple of days.

I also learned that to find out about your second dose you should watch the updates for your age group and it is best to get the second dose between 21 days and four months.

Vincent Massey was a hopping place on Sunday, I had driven by the school a few times recently and wondered why the lot was always full of cars and found out my answer.

As I am not a fan of needles I let her know and looked at the Exit sign while I got the shot. The entire experience was pleasant and the operation runs like a well oiled machine.

In order to set up for whatever might happen I had done my errands on Saturday just in case. I was on weekend duty and planned to work from home so after I returned I worked on a project. Then about an hour and a half later I started to feel tired. After finishing my project the decision was made to drop the other one I had planned.

The side effects for me were similar to when I get the flu shot and the sore arm was the other noticeable one.

During the night I had to be careful of the arm I had my shot in but slept well. The fatigue stuck around for Monday and we will see what the rest of the week brings.

This completed vaccinations for my entire family with my mother, sisters and brothers-in-law all getting vaccinated in various jurisdictions around Canada and the world.

After the whole experience I can echo Premier Scott Moe about getting your shot as soon as you are able.