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Long lines for vaccine

Patience ended up being the prescription for Calgarians as long-awaitedH1N1 vaccine clinics opened to thousands of people lined up at fourlocations.

Patience ended up being the prescription for Calgarians as long-awaited H1N1 vaccine clinics opened to thousands of people lined up at four locations.

Ted and Elaine Parker waited in line for the flu shot with hundreds of other families, seniors and pregnant women. Waits between three and six hours were reported.

“We will wait as long as it takes to get the shot,” Ted said at the beginning of the lineup, which wrapped around the Whitehorn EMS services centre.

Others weren’t as patient, as some pregnant women — who are supposed to be high priority for the vaccine — were wondering why they weren’t allowed to jump the queue.

“This is a long lineup and it’s hard on me. I don’t understand why we have to wait for so long,” J. Markeet said.

There were four immunization clinics set up, one in each quadrant of the city, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and that is when the madness began, according to Marcus Graden.

“We’re just leaving now and we got here a few hours ago. I actually had to take the day off work, it’s too late to go in now. But it’s worth it if we don’t get sick,” he said.

Late yesterday, Alberta Health Services extended clinic hours to 11 p.m. in order to accommodate those in line prior to 5 p.m.

In the Alberta legislature, Liberal Leader Kevin Taft criticized the provincial government for having just four immunization clinics in Calgary and five in Edmonton.

“The organization is clearly not in place for this to succeed,” Taft said.

“Even if the current clinics run 24-7, the flu season may be over before a large portion of the population is immunized.”
with files from the canadian press

 
 
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