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Sep. 23, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
Drive-thru flu shot is preparation for delivering COVID vaccine
Dorothy Wilson of Virgil gets her first flu shot at the drive-thru clinic Saturday. (Richard Harley)

About 300 people got stuck in the parking lot the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre Saturday.

The afternoon was the final of three drive-thru flu shot days at the community centre, offered by Niagara North Family Health Team.

About 300 people came to get the influenza vaccine Saturday and in total about 1,000 people were given flu shots during the drive-thru, said Mary Keith, executive director of Niagara North Family Health Team.

"It's been great. Everybody is excited, we've had lots of positive feedback from patients who have enjoyed just staying in their car and keeping everyone safe," Keith said Saturday as cars pulled through and people got their shots.

"People are bringing their elderly parents and their kids, and everybody can get done and just sit in the car. It's very easy."

Keith said the drive-thru shots are a good rehearsal for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, which the province announced Sunday it is preparing for.

"I think we're all hoping that we'll be using this as practice for when we have a COVID vaccine. Certainly with the positive feedback I could see us doing this again next year with the flu shots."

The shots were done from a trailer donated for the event by Niagara Trailers, for which Keith said she was extremely grateful.

"This has been a godsend. They donated the trailer both to the St. Catharines flu clinics and the Niagara-on-the-Lake, so it's six all together. And it's been a bit chilly for the last few, so it's been so nice to be able to have a place to put the vaccine and to get out of the cold."

Phil's Valu-mart also donated juice boxes and water for people to have after their shots. People were asked to wait a few minutes in the parking lot after getting the vaccine in case they didn't feel well after the shot. Emergency medical services were also on site.

Volunteers from the Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Club also helped out to greet people and guide traffic.

"A big thank you to everyone in our team who put out their time to organize this and got up early and braved the cold," Keith said. 

"It's been a real team effort. And we've had lot of volunteers from the Rotary. And a big thank you to them, too."

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