Sensory-friendly COVID-19 vaccination clinics coming to Waterloo region, Guelph
The clinics are being offered to people between five and 17 years old
The process of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can be a little overwhelming, especially if you're a child or teenager.
Now a new collaboration hopes to make that process a little easier by offering sensory-friendly vaccination clinics.
KidsAbility, an organization that offers support programs for families and kids, has partnered with Waterloo region public health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health to host sensory-friendly clinics at its local sites beginning this month.
The clinics are specifically for children between five and 17-years-old.
"There'll be less movement around ... They're booking this appointment with a little bit more time for those children, so that hopefully children can be calm and ready for their vaccination," said Linda Kenny, CEO of KidsAbility.
The clinics will have a reduced number of people and reduced noise, in comparison to mass vaccination sites.
Families will be able to go into a room together for the duration of the appointment, and the person doing the immunizing will come to them, as opposed to moving through stations.
Location and registration
The vaccination clinics will be at nine of KidsAbility's sites located in Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. Public health staff will run the clinics with the help of KidsAbility volunteers.
"Our staff will be volunteering their time to come and assist children, so hopefully some of the faces that they see will be familiar and friendly for them," Kenny said. "And I think we're able to offer that in a very child-friendly environment, very targeted at children for whom the experience might be very overwhelming in a more traditional vaccine clinic."
She said many of the children will be clients of the organization, but the clinic is open to all who are eligible and need accommodation.
The clinics are appointment only. Registration is now open.
Parents with multiple children can sign them up for the same time slot and room.
Anyone wishing to make an appointment in Waterloo region can contact public health for a referral form at email@example.com or call 519-575-4400.
Anyone in Guelph who needs an appointment can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006.