Tillsonburg clinic opens: ‘smooth, wonderful, just like clockwork’

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A steady flow of people visited the new Mass Immunization Clinic in Tillsonburg Tuesday morning to receive a dose of Moderna vaccine.

About 180 people per day are expected to be vaccinated for the first couple of weeks, but it won’t be long – depending on vaccine availability – before they ramp up, expanding the number of cubicle areas where the shots are administered by paramedics from Oxford County Paramedic Services from 18 to 24.

Everything was operating smoothly on Tuesday, the clinic’s first day.

“There’s absolutely nothing to it,” said Margie Freeman from Tillsonburg.

“This staff is absolutely wonderful. They make you feel at ease. Everything went smooth, just like clockwork.”

Freeman, 62, had been anxiously waiting for her first dose of vaccine.

“My husband has terminal cancer and I wanted this protection to keep him protected. He’s already had his first (shot) and in a couple of weeks he gets his second.”

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Town of Tillsonburg recreation staff Jaime Oliver (left) and Rhiannon Collins assisted with pre-screening, traffic flow, and sanization at the new Mass Immunization Clinic at the Lions Auditorium Tuesday morning. (Chris Abbott/Norfolk & Tillsonburg News)
Town of Tillsonburg recreation staff Jaime Oliver (left) and Rhiannon Collins assisted with pre-screening, traffic flow, and sanization at the new Mass Immunization Clinic at the Lions Auditorium Tuesday morning. (Chris Abbott/Norfolk & Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

Freeman arrived at the clinic at 9:42 a.m. and exited at 10 .m.

“There’s no wait – they took me right away. It was great.”

Today, there is choice in Tillsonburg. Five pharmacies are administering AtraZeneca, and some family physicians will be getting vaccine.

“I had my name in four places,” said Freeman. “It didn’t matter which one I got, as long as I got them. One was a pharmacy in Ingersoll. I knew my doctor would be, so I was on a waiting list there. Then I heard about this one (Tillsonburg). I also tried St. Thomas, but this one came up first so I said, ‘I’m in.’”

Terry Mattan, 60, also received his first dose of Moderna vaccine Tuesday morning.

“As soon as I got my timeframe that I was able to get it,” said Mattan, preferring to wait until the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was available.

“Pfizer or Moderna, I didn’t care.”

Mattan had a 10:12 appointment, and exited the clinic at 10:30 a.m.

Terry Mattan, right, ‘checks out’ of the new Tillsonburg Mass Immunization clinic Tuesday morning with Southwestern Public Health staff Blake Schwartzentruber. Eliesha Shearer works at the other checkout desk. (Chris Abbott/Norfolk & Tillsonburg News)
Terry Mattan, right, ‘checks out’ of the new Tillsonburg Mass Immunization clinic Tuesday morning with Southwestern Public Health staff Blake Schwartzentruber. Eliesha Shearer works at the other checkout desk. (Chris Abbott/Norfolk & Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

“Beautiful process,” said Mattan. “Very, very efficient. The Town staff, the paramedics, fantastic.

“I’m not a real lover of shots, but you don’t feel absolutely anything… fantastic,” said Mattan, describing the shot. “It’s like a mosquito bite.”

Mattan is scheduled to return to the clinic on August 17.

It takes about 2-3 weeks for the immunization to take affect, but after that period, Mattan said he will feel ‘a little more at ease.’

“They say, if you would happen to contract it right now, you won’t be so severely sick. And don’t have to be in the hospital.”

Mattan said he would prefer his second dose earlier, but in the meantime is prepared to keep wearing facemasks and social distancing.

“I have no issue with masks. Do it at work every day from 7 a.m. to 3:05 there about.”

Tillsonburg’s new Mass Immunization Clinic officially opened Tuesday morning. (Chris Abbott/Norfolk & Tillsonburg News)
Tillsonburg’s new Mass Immunization Clinic officially opened Tuesday morning. (Chris Abbott/Norfolk & Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

cabbott@postmedia.com

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