Today was the day that I drove my Dad to get his first vaccine shot. He had a confirmed appointment for 12:15pm. We chose to go to a drive-through clinic located at the Coquitlam Park and Ride lot, since it was the closest location to my parents’ place. We got there about five minutes early and there was a small line-up of about five cars to get enter the lot.

That line-up went relatively quickly and when I got to the entrance of the lot, the first health care worker asked me why I was here today. I showed her a printout of my Dad’s vaccine appointment confirmation. She pointed me to a line of cars that had been already queued up ahead of me. I drove up behind the car that I was directed to and I could see another covered tent ahead that I would eventually have to pass under.

Here’s where it got weird and where my first complaint started. After a few minutes, the line moved ahead and I was able to get to the tent where another worker was talking to all the cars. She handed me two forms and asked me to fill it out. I was surprised by this request. No where in the confirmation e-mail did it warn us there would be additional forms to fill out. I didn’t bring a pen or anything to help me write on forms. I told her I didn’t have a pen and I guess this was something they’ve dealt with because she handed me a pen.

Now I’m trying to navigate a moving line of vehicles while simultaneously trying to fill out forms for my Dad. I looked at the first form and it’s asking me to fill out his name, birth date, address, and personal health number. What? Should the Fraser Health authority already know this? They made us fill in all this info when we made the appointment in the first place! Why would they not know this on the day of the appointment? What was the purpose of us filling that info in when the appointment was made? It was frustrating to have to fill this out in the car, while trying to steer through lanes of the vehicle queue.

It turned out that I had plenty of time to fill out the form because we waited 45 minutes for us to finally snake our way to the tents where the shots were actually administered. I’m not sure what caused them to fall so far behind schedule. I have no reference point so this might have been either a day where they were relatively on time (I hope not!) or this might have been a terrible day for being on time.

Everyone is supposed to have a specific time they are supposed to show up and I know that when I booked, time slots had a limit before they were all gone. I feel like they got behind early in the morning and just never recovered.

The actual process of getting the shot was smooth. They asked my Dad a few questions, he took off his jacket, the nurse leaned into the car, swabbed his arm, and gave him his shot. My Dad said it was painless and he felt almost nothing.

After getting the shot, we moved into another lineup where we were supposed to stay there for 15 minutes, to ensure no side effects were present. After ten minutes, I heard one of the workers say that the lineups were getting too long and that they were gonna ask people if they wanted to leave before their 15 minutes were up, they could. I asked my Dad how he was feeling and he said he was feeling fine. We’d been at the clinic a lot longer than I had anticipated and while my Dad had a bottle of water with him, I knew he was getting hungry. So, I decided to leave a bit early and got the hell out of there.

I took him home and I had lunch with my Mom and Dad. I stayed with them for another two hours or so and he said everything was ok. He’s looking forward to his next shot in a few months. My Mom should be getting her first shot in about two weeks ago. Based on our experience today, I’m wondering if she should go somewhere else to get hers.

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