St. Amant drive-through success
It was a much calmer affair Monday afternoon in south Winnipeg, where the province’s first drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic went smoothly.
The clinic at St. Amant (440 River Rd.) began with a ceremony, including drumming, prayers from religious and cultural leaders, and opening statements.
A therapy dog, calming music and bubble-blowing volunteers were all part of what is supposed to be a slower, more comfortable experience for those getting a shot, many of whom have developmental disabilities.
St. Amant has 500 Moderna doses to dole out over the next week to people arriving, and staying in, their vehicles. All bookable appointments have been filled, with the vast majority going to staff and people with disabilities who use St. Amant’s services.
Doses were first scheduled June 16 for the upcoming week solely to people within St. Amant, with opened eligibility June 17 to the families of staff and St. Amant members seeking a second dose.
The remainder were opened June 18 to people who, as St. Amant director of communications Jennifer Rodrigue explained it, “weren’t well-served by the super sites.”
“That can be for so many reasons — it might just be anxiety, social anxiety, going into a large building, knowing there’s going to be tons of people around — so we thought being in your vehicle, not having to get out, not having to navigate that wayfinding by foot (was important),” she said.
The entire week of appointments was filled by 1 p.m. June 18.
There are a small number of walk-in doses available, but those will likely run out immediately: on Monday, by 12:08 p.m., every walk-in dose for the day was spoken for.
Those coming for walk-in doses will first fill in a questionnaire, where they will be asked to explain how the province-run super sites may be inaccessible to them.
“We’ll just have to use our good judgment,” Rodrigue said.
One of the first people at the drive-through, 18-year-old Amanda Finlayson, lives in a community home managed by St. Amant (she arrived in a vehicle driven by a staff member) and defines herself as “special needs.”
While enjoying the floating bubbles and the company of a therapy dog, Finlayson didn’t hesitate when asked what she was most excited to do first, now that she’s fully vaccinated.
“Jump in a water park and go down a big water slide with my brother,” she said.