Immunization team delivers more COVID-19 vaccine than expected at Yellowknife pop-up clinic

·3 min read
Kristy Hawes was on her way to the bathroom with her husband and small children in tow, when they saw there was no lineup at the pop-up vaccine clinic and decided to get the shot. (Liny Lamberink/CBC - image credit)
Kristy Hawes was on her way to the bathroom with her husband and small children in tow, when they saw there was no lineup at the pop-up vaccine clinic and decided to get the shot. (Liny Lamberink/CBC - image credit)

Seventy-three people rolled up their sleeves at Yellowknife's first pop-up vaccine clinic on Saturday, according to the territory's COVID immunization response team.

Sheila Laity, one of the nurse practitioners on site, said there was a lineup waiting for them when they first arrived at the Yellowknife Co-op in the morning.

Initially equipped with forty doses of the Moderna vaccine, Laity said they were twice delivered more vials to keep up with demand.

"I didn't expect that much," she said. "We have a lot of people who are very happy about just popping in, showing up here while you're getting your groceries, not having to make an appointment."

Aziz Benali said having the pop-up clinic at the grocery store made it "very convenient" to get the shot while doing errands.
Aziz Benali said having the pop-up clinic at the grocery store made it "very convenient" to get the shot while doing errands.(Liny Lamberink/CBC)

For Aziz Benali, the convenience was key.

"I was supposed to get it two days ago," he said, referring to his second dose of the vaccine.

"I didn't get the chance because I was working the whole day and Saturday is a challenging day for me because I have to do some groceries and also have to go to work in the afternoon."

To be able to get the shot, while out doing errands, was easy, he said.

"It takes me five minutes. It's a very good idea."

Getting vaccinated had been on the to-do list for Kristy Hawes and her husband, Brian. So when they spotted the clinic in the grocery store, they jumped on the opportunity — with their children Nate, 7, and Lilah, 4, in tow.

"We were pleasantly surprised this clinic was here with no lineup," said Kristy Hawes. "We think it's important to keep the North safe, and we would like to visit family this summer. It's a first step for us to keep ourselves safe and our families safe."

Ron Klein and his wife Anita Kikoak were among 73 people to get a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during Saturday's pop-up clinic.
Ron Klein and his wife Anita Kikoak were among 73 people to get a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during Saturday's pop-up clinic.(Liny Lamberink/CBC)

Ron Klein and his wife, Anita Kikoak, also had travel on their minds.

"My nephew wants to get married this year," explained Kikoak. "I'm not sure if he will now, because [COVID-19 cases are] just climbing up there. I just want to be prepared, in case we do go."

They also agreed to get the shot because Kikoak said she's worried about her husband's health.

"He is older than I am, that's the main thing. I was teasing him last week that he's fragile now," she said. "I just worry about him."

Laity said she's not sure if there are more pop-up clinics planned for Yellowknife in the future.

Walk-ins are welcome at the Centre Square Mall vaccination clinic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day except for Tuesdays and Sundays.

People living in communities outside Yellowknife are encouraged to contact their local public health unit or health centre to arrange getting their first or second dose.