How do I get a COVID shot?

Mar 16, 2021

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." I generally hate Hallmark Christmas movies, other than the one that was partially filmed in my hometown of Pinawa. But, even that one is so forgettable, I can't remember its title. My wife loves them. I've noticed Hallmark is starting to make "Winter Movies" now. I assume soon there will be "Spring", "Summer", and "Fall" Hallmark movies. That will leave me with nothing to watch but YouTube videos of Pewdiepie. I don't understand those because they're about video games. I think. I'm not sure. But the previous quote isn't from a Hallmark movie. Although the plot shares many similarities with Hallmark, the writing and acting make it the greatest Date Night movie ever.

Everyone wants true love, right? Just like everyone wants a COVID shot. But, just like in a RomCom, there are going to be a few plot twists. Question one: how old are you? Before you answer that, write down this phone number. 1-844-626-8222. You'll need to call that number to book your COVID shot. If you were born on or before Dec 31, 1946 (which makes you 75 years old or older) or if you are First Nations and born on or before Dec 31, 1966 (which makes you 55 years old or older) you are eligible to get a COVID shot at the Super Site in Brandon at the Keystone Center. Remember, these eligibility criteria will keep changing. Younger and younger people will become eligible to get a vaccine. Go to manitoba.ca/vaccine and click on Eligibility Criteria to see the latest updates.

If you are in the correct age bracket, call that 1-844-626-8222 number. You should be able to book a time to go to Brandon and get a COVID Shot. But wait, aren't there any options in Dauphin? Yes, last week Public Health announced there would be pop-up clinics in rural Manitoba. You still have to be in the proper age bracket, but on Mar 18 and 19th, there will be pop up vaccine clinics at the Ukrainian Orthodox Hall in Dauphin. There will also be a pop-up clinic in Swan River Mar 24 and 25th at Veteran's Hall. My understanding is you will still have to call the 1-844 number to book a spot at these pop-up clinics.

Aren't pharmacies giving COVID shots now? Yes, but the number of people pharmacies can vaccinate is very limited. Again, I have to ask the question, how old are you? To get a COVID shot at a pharmacy in Manitoba, you have to be between 50 and 64, or First Nations and aged 30 to 64. Public Health is supplying the AstraZeneca vaccine to pharmacies. At the time of writing this article the National Advisory Committee on Immunization or NACI has recommended the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine not be given to people 65 and over. This isn't because it won't work in people 65 and over or because it is unsafe in people 65 and over. NACI said there just wasn't enough people in the AstraZeneca trials 65 and over for NACI to make an informed decision. This recommendation may change. For example, many, many people over 65 in Scotland have now received the AstraZeneca shot and seem to be doing really well. And the provinces can decide which people they want to get which shots. For example, Ontario is saying only people 60-64 can get AstraZeneca. Quebec is saying they will be giving AstraZeneca to people over 65. But for right now, Public Health is saying age 50 - 64 in Manitoba.

If you are between 50 and 64, or First Nations between 30 and 64 and want to get a COVID shot at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy, we are asking you to go to our website. Go to www.dcp.ca and click on "COVID Vaccine Waitlist". You will be asked a bunch of questions. Please fill it out as completely as you can. The reason we can't just book you for a shot right off the hop is we are only being given a tiny amount of vaccines at a time. We still want to get everyone who is interested onto the list. We will work our way through the list as we get more vaccine. Please be patient, at the rate Public Health is sending us vaccine, it will take a very long time to get through the waitlist.

Certain people on our waitlist will get priority. Public Health sent us a really long list of priority conditions. If you have a priority condition, Public Health wants you immunized first. You can see the full list of priority conditions at manitoba.ca/vaccine and click on Eligibility Criteria. Some of the conditions in the Priority 1 list include: being on dialysis, cirrhosis of the liver, severe heart failure, severe COPD, cystic fibrosis, stroke that causes impairment, certain blood cancers, certain solid tumors undergoing chemo, Down's Syndrome, people without a spleen and severely obese people with a BMI over 40. We would like everyone 50 to 64 who is interested in getting a vaccine to sign up on our website before phoning the store. After you have signed up online, if you think you fit into one of Public Health's priority groups, phone us. We will flag your file. But please be patient. There are way more people in the Parkland who have a Priority1 condition and who are in the correct age group than we have vaccine. Again, getting through the waitlist will be a very slow process.

When we do contact you and book you a COVID shot at the pharmacy, here are a couple things to keep in mind. Arrive only 5 minutes prior to your appointment. We still need to keep as few people as possible hanging around in the pharmacy for social distancing reasons. Bring your Manitoba Health Card. We will have to confirm some numbers off it. Wear a mask. Wear a short-sleeved shirt with easy access to your shoulders. And try not to bring several other people with you. For example, don't bring a bunch of children, friends, members of your handgun club, etc. along for your trip to the pharmacy. We are need to keep the number of people inside the pharmacy to a minimum. Obviously, bringing a driver or your care giver with you is fine, but try to keep the number of people with you for the COVID shot to a minimum.

The most quoted line from the movie in question is an ad lib by Director Rob Reiner's mother. In the Deli scene, where Meg Ryan demo's how she fakes it, Reiner's mother says "I'll have what she's having." Yes, the plot of "When Harry Met Sally" has two people meeting, hating each other, meeting again years later, falling in and out of friendship and eventually falling in love. The plot is straight out of Hallmark. But Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan have such great material to work with. Harry explains to Sally his positive outlook on life, "When I buy a new book, I read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends." Harry tries to compliment Sally with ""You know, you may be the first attractive woman I've not wanted to sleep with in my entire life." Sally's response, "Harry, you might not believe this, but I never considered not sleeping with you a sacrifice." Harry's long list of short-term relationships leads him to a recurrent dream about bedroom and mother issues, "Had my dream again last night, and the Olympic judges are watching. I'd nailed the compulsories, so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount." Whether it is the quest for true love or the quest to get a vaccine, the journey is going to be long and bumpy. But with a little patience and sense of humor, we'll all get there.

As always if you have any questions or concerns about these or other products, ask your pharmacist.

The information in this article is intended as a helpful guide only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice. If you have any questions about your medications and what is right for you see your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

 


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