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This COVID-19 vaccine clinic has thousands of Post-it notes with messages of hope​​​​​​​

Thousands of sticky notes blanket a wall at the Niagara Health run Seymour-Hannah vaccination clinic in St. Catharines, Ont.

Post-it notes serve as 'rainbow of hope' for workers vaccinating people in Niagara area

Thousands of colourful notes line the walls of Niagara Health's vaccination clinic in St. Catharines, Ont. (Niagara Health/Twitter)

When Natalie Ferraro sees a stack of Post-it notes, she said she thinks of people waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

That's because thousands of yellow, pink, cyan and neon green Post-it notes with messages from people who got a shot blanket a wall at the Seymour-Hannah vaccination clinic in St. Catharines, Ont.

She says her team calls it their "rainbow of hope."

"It's what keeps us going, it's what makes us want to come back to work every day," Ferraro, clinical manager of clinical operations at Niagara Health, told CBC Radio's Day 6.

It comes as almost half of Canadians have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

'An opportunity for people to celebrate'

Ferraro said the idea of the Post-it notes came as a way to help people share their thoughts and feelings after getting vaccinated for others to see.

"It was an opportunity for people to celebrate," she said.

Ferraro said the team was going to take the notes down each day and do something else with them, but after seeing the colourful wall grow, they opted to leave it.

LISTEN: How thousands of Post-it notes share COVID stories at vaccination clinic

Canada will soon mark a huge milestone. It's expected half of the population will have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. At the Seymour-Hannah vaccination clinic in St. Catharines, Ont., the walls are lined with thousands of brightly coloured notes with messages of hope from those who’ve had their first shot. Natalie Ferraro, the clinical manager of operations at the centre tells us why they set up this space, about the messages people are leaving and the morale boost those messages are providing. 6:02

The clinic itself is on a hockey rink. Instead of games full of spectators, the rink is empty and has no ice. The seats in the stands are vacant.

Instead, there are 20 vaccination stations where the ice would be, with people waiting for their shot.

But Ferraro said with the Post-it notes lining the boards, it doesn't feel like an empty arena or a mass vaccination clinic.

Messages full of hope and emotion

The messages on those colourful pieces of paper are full of gratitude, hope and emotion.

"We have messages from people getting it done so they can hug their grandkids again or see their dying family member," Ferraro said.

"You don't realize how much COVID has impacted each individual person in the Niagara region and around the world and these sticky notes really tell that story."

She said most of the time, people are relieved getting their vaccine. Some have cried and others have cheered after their poke, Ferraro said.

"I would probably write ... we need to continue to stand together and there is a light at the end of the tunnel," Ferraro said.

As of Sunday, 244,520 vaccine doses have been administered by public health and 122,806 doses have been given out by Niagara Health.

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