Ottawa

Long lineups at Ontario flu shot clinics

The first weekend for newly operating swine flu clinics in Ontario saw much the same activity as the past few days, with long lineups for those anxious to get the H1N1 vaccine.

Vaccines only given to people in priority groups

People stand in the rain Saturday outside Toronto's East York Civic Centre to get H1N1 flu shots. ((Michael Turshic/CBC))
The first weekend for newly operating swine flu clinics in Ontario saw much the same activity as the past few days, with long lineups for those anxious to get the H1N1 vaccine.

At one of seven clinics in Ottawa, people started showing up shortly after 4:15 a.m. ET on Saturday. The clinic opened its doors at 9 a.m.

By mid-morning, about 200 people were in line, many holding umbrellas in the rain.

Some said they were frustrated that numbered wristbands were not handed out earlier. Staff at the city's clinics were instructed to start handing out the wristbands at 7:30 a.m. to allow people to leave the lineup and return later.

Priority groups are:


  • Pregnant women.
  • Children from six months to five years of age.
  • People who live with children under six months old.
  • People under 65 with underlying medical conditions.
  • Immuno-compromised people.

A similar kind of lineup could be seen outside the East York Civic Centre in Toronto on Saturday, one of four clinic sites in the city.

People queued up in the rain, hours before the clinic opened at 10 a.m. ET.

The H1N1 vaccination clinics to be held Saturday and during the coming week will only be open to members of priority groups due to a temporary shortage of the serum.

The restriction was announced Friday, putting on hold plans to begin a mass vaccination program on Monday.

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