Get your H1N1 Shots in Masham this week

Carolane Gauthier desperately tries to keep smiling while being injected with the H1N1 vaccine. Photo by Trevor Greenway of the Low Down

Carolane Gauthier desperately tries to keep smiling while being injected with the H1N1 vaccine. Photo by Trevor Greenway of the Low Down

By Mark Burgess

The first week of vaccination clinics in the CSSS des Collines went “very, very well” while further north the CSSS Vallee de la Gatineau will delay its scheduled vaccination of the general population for at least a week.

CSSS des Collines spokesperson Camille Spain said 2,500 people were vaccinated last week in Val des Monts, most of them belonging to the targeted group of health care workers, young children, women pregnant for more than 20 weeks and people living with children under six months of age.

Patients not fitting into that category weren’t turned away but she said those not belonging to the broader priority group – which includes chronically ill people under 65 and those living with immuno-compromised people in addition to the above – won’t be admitted this week. CSSS des Collines workers calculated they only have enough enough doses to vaccinate the priority group scheduled for Nov. 10-12.

In the CSSS Vallee de la Gatineau, which was ahead of its southern neighbour in getting the vaccine out to a the broader priority group, a Nov. 9 announcement said the region had received little or no new doses in the past week. As a result, it will refrain from opening its clinics to the general public and continue to restrict vaccinations to the priority group until more are delivered.

Both CSSSs have received doses of the vaccine without adjuvant that can be given to women who have been pregnant for fewer than 20 weeks.

Spain said the vaccine’s rollout in Val des Monts went “very, very well” and that workers received positive feedback about the service provided.

The clinic, which moves to Masham’s arena Nov. 10-12 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., is operating under a coupon system. Coupons with a designated time to receive the vaccine are distributed beginning at 7 a.m. and those seeking the vaccine are asked to return at the indicated time. Spain said waits have been between 15 and 25 minutes for the vaccine, rather than the hours it could take if no time slots were ordered.

Spain also said the numbers in emergency at the Wakefield Memorial Hospital have been normal since a brief spike Oct. 28.

The priority group will be able to receive the vaccine again in Val des Monts Nov. 17-19 before vaccinations are opened up to the general public in Masham Nov. 24-26.


Ministry advertised wrong dates

Conflicting vaccination dates were advertised by the CSSS des Collines and the Ministry of Health and Social Services, with the ministry confusing the dates and locations. The vaccination schedule in the CSSS des Collines’ original ad in the Oct. 28 edition of the Low Down was correct.

Vaccination clinics will be open for pregnant women, children between six months and five years old, chronically ill people under 65, health-care workers and those living infants under six months or someone with an immune system deficiency at the following times and locations:

-  Nov. 10-12 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Masham arena, 20 Raphael Rd. in Masham

-  Nov. 17-19 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the J.A. Perkins Room, 17 du Manoir Rd. in Val des Monts

Beginning Nov. 24, the general public will be able to receive the vaccine. The sites, open Tuesdays through Thursdays, will alternate between Masham and Val des Monts. The clinic will be in Masham Nov. 24-26.