'It's ridiculous,' System issues leave many waiting in line for COVID-19 vaccine
BARRIE, ONT. -- What should have been an exciting day quickly turned to frustration for many in line waiting for their vaccine in Newmarket.
On Thursday, dozens of people could be seen lined up around the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, some waiting for at least four hours. This includes Valary Lyall King and her grand-daughter Alexis who say their experience was anything but pleasant.
"They have young people in there and seniors; it's ridiculous," she says, adding the worst part was waiting out in the cold. "It's freezing. We are dressed warm, but not for this."
While Alexis says she worried for her grandparent's safety.
"So the first two hours was outside, and then you did one hour in a sardine hallway, no distancing, no sanitation, no security, and then you did the half an hour in on the rink which is where you get the vaccine," says Alexis.
In a release, Southlake Regional Health Centre, which oversees the Twinney site, addressed the long lines and wait times, saying, "We recognize that this is a long line for seniors to wait in, and we apologize for that. we appreciate everyone's patience as we work through this. Early this morning, we experienced some system and process issues resulting in delays as we opened the vaccination centre, which continues to cause long lines."
Southlake says they have opened a second arena where there is seating for those who are waiting.
They are also adding more staff and security to help move people through more quickly.
Valary says she already feeling anxious for her second dose which is still weeks away.
"I'm worried about what the next shot is going to be like cause we have to come back for a second one, and surely it won't be like this," she says.
Southlake is also asking that those scheduled to get their vaccine do not arrive more than 10 minutes before their scheduled appointment.