Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Day Late, and an Immunization Short?

All around me people are being felled by "the Flu". No one has been tested, but as I understand things, at this point in the season, if you have the Flu, its the Swine Flu.

Neighbours, friends, coworkers and half the kids at my son's schools are being felled by this rampant illness. I am usually successful in maintaining calm in the presence of danger, but the news today did not help.

I have never wanted be vaccinated so much in my life. But, in Waterloo region I have to wait until next week. Another small problem, there's only three clinics in the tri-cities for Swine Flu vaccinations. In Cambridge, we have 6 hours to vaccinate 120,000 residents. Anyone else see a problem with that?

We need more vaccines, and we need them fast. On multiple fronts we're only 1 degree of separation away from people already infected. I might not be calculating the odds right, but I'd lay 10-1 that my family catches Swine Flu before we can get vaccinated against it.

My mind, it is a-reeling. Should we hole up, keep the kids out of school? (Its only pre-school and kindergarten hardly critical education.) Should we avoid public places except when absolutely necessary? I'm not all out scared yet, but I am damned nervous.


Ken Breadner said...

The conflicting reports in the media certainly do not help matters much. Some sources are saying (and I think I agree) that even if you get vaccinated tomorrow, it's too late. Others are saying it's vital your kids get it, not so important that you do. They're still suggesting that one in three Canadians will get this, so the odds are pretty damned good. Then again, it's not hard to find people downplaying the whole thing, even to the point of poo-pooing the vaccinations, and saying that even if you do get H1N1, it's no big deal.
The people I've heard of who've had it would suggest otherwise. This is *not* something you want to catch. Even if you don't die, you'll probably wish you could.
Every GP and clinic should should be dispensing the vaccine. I can't believe a city the size of Cambridge has a six hour window, that's insane.

Catelli said...

Kitchener and Waterloo have the same 6 hour window too....

Its insane across the region!

ADHR said...

Toronto's better -- can you make it down here? We've got ten clinics starting on Monday, running six days a week, six hours a day, for two weeks.

I tend to think the government's mishandled yet another crisis. There's no good reason for there to be this kind of delay in getting the vaccine out to people, and certainly no excuse for the misinformation out there.

This failure could get a lot of people killed.

Catelli said...

Peel region is running clinics 7 days a week according to their website. A co-worker drove by one of the sites today, and the cars were lined up onto the road waiting for parking spots. And then there's the actual lineups after you park.

I think I'm going to try in Brampton within a few days, since I'm already there for work. My wife and kids are stuck with the Waterloo schedule for now.

ADHR said...

Sounds like a plan; but you'll probably have to be there 2-3 hours before the clinic opens to get one.

What about going somewhere else? Hamilton, say, or London. Too bad there's no universal healthcare in the US, or it might be worth running across the border into Michigan or NY.

My wife's American and is supposed to be in the US from Sunday till Friday. Unfortunately, she'll be in Texas and New Mexico, neither of whom appear to be vaccinating yet.

Such a mess. How not to handle a pandemic.

Thomas said...

Keep in mind that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (though the stress of said event may shorten your life span).

Catelli said...


That used to be my motto!


Methinks the line-ups will be there wherever we go. According to the National, only 6 million doses have been shipped across the country so far.

Yeah, the Feds have screwed it up. Late ordering of the vaccine, halting shipments to order a new kind, etc.

But I think the sheer virulence of the swine flu is outpacing worldwide capacity to produce vaccines. Vaccine availability is short everywhere, it'll be a few months before there's enough to go around for everyone. So even if our plan and response were perfect, we'd be in a similar circumstance anyway.