CHEO kicks off COVID-19 vaccination clinic this weekend

OTTAWA — The push to quickly get jabs into young arms continues as kids in the capital rolled up their sleeves for their first COVID-19 vaccine.

Ottawa Public Health says about 1,200 doses were administered to children aged five to 11 on Friday, the first day of the city’s paediatric vaccination campaign.

This weekend is the start of CHEO’s vaccination clinic through the Kids Come First health team. That’s where Tracy Schulz’s son, Aiden, is getting his shot.

“They phone me Thursday and the appointment’s Sunday,” said Schulz. “It’s happening pretty quickly and I’m pretty excited about that.”

Aiden is a little less excited.

“I just don’t like the feeling of something going into my body,” said the nine-year-old, who is afraid of needles.”

CHEO says its clinic is aimed at easing some of those anxieties.

“The way our clinic is different is we offer more time and space per vaccination appointment and we have resources and support that focus on providing the child with the best experience, a really positive experience,” said Stephanie Carter, the director of ambulatory care at CHEO.

Carter says paediatric experts and people from the autism team will be on hand—including CHEO’s therapeutic clown, Molly.

The CHEO website states the clinic is geared toward children who are immunocompromised, individuals with autism or anxiety, and those who have a condition that makes its challenged to be vaccinated in the community.

Running Saturday and Sunday, the clinic has capacity for 300 kids a day.

Appointments can be booked by preregistering on CHEO’s website.

“We’re hoping that the smaller environment’s a little bit more intimate,” said Schulz. “They’re used to dealing with kids and that will make a difference.”

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