Friday, November 27, 2009

PHOTO ESSAY: Getting Immunized from H1N1

Text and photos (c) Robert Barry Francos
Click on picture for larger image

I decided to get immunized. Yes, I know there is a debate on whether it's good or bad, but having just gone through H1N1 with someone else, I thought I'd take my chances. I've had flu shots consistently over the past few years, so it's not that big a deal to me, and I'm certainly not worried about it beyond the usual hating needles.

The immunization is free in Saskatoon, but the line-ups have been fierce. Two days ago, they started general inoculations, after it only being available for those with "high risks," like the elderly and the infants.

I arrived at one of the two places where the shots were being administered, Prairieland Park, and was happy to see the line not going out the door (just). From the beginning, I was concerned as I haven't yet received my health card, and only had a valid driver's licence.

The first room, about the size of a basketball court, had the line snaking up and down it five times. There were lots of signs warning about the "pandemic", such as warnings about who should not get a shot, such as those who are currently ill.

At the end of this room, there is a ramp and the line had three folds snaked around it. Once inside the next room, there was - yep - another two-snake line to register. Though there was an eyebrow raised of "no card?!" she still put me through, with "Card not yet received" written into the space where the number should go. Gotta love Canada.

The last line was to actually get the shot in the arm. It snaked three loops, and after a bit over two hours, I then we entered the large room with tables that reminded me of voting areas. Actually, the whole place, with its exposed pipes, dull walls, and curtains, sort of reminded me of the scene in Cloverfield where Susan Sarandon's daughter explodes.

The shot was very painless, I'm happy to say, though that night it was sore as all get-out, and today I'm feeling a little weak. Still, life goes on and I have work to do, so after this, I'm back at it.

[Prairieland Park]
[Beginning of the line]
[Center of first room; no that is not her hand]
[The ramp]
[The signs by ramp]
[View of the first big room from the top of the ramp]
[Nurses stations aka the shooting gallery]

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