Kingston residents flock to Invista Centre COVID-19 vaccination site to receive their shots

Click to play video: 'Kingston residents flock to Invista Centre COVID-19 vaccination site to receive their shots' Kingston residents flock to Invista Centre COVID-19 vaccination site to receive their shots
The COVID-19 vaccination site at the Invista Centre is drawing in a steady stream of people looking to get vaccinated – Mar 18, 2021

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article said that Queen’s University student Riley Geizler qualified to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a life sciences student. In fact, Riley Geisler qualifies for vaccination as an essential worker who deals with vulnerable individuals as a Pharmacy Assistant with Shoppers Drug Mart in Kingston.

A steady stream of people have been coming to the Invista Centre to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Now that the requirements for receiving the shot have opened up to more of the population, those who qualify are looking to get themselves and their families vaccinated.

Read more: Local media tour Kingston area’s new Invista Centre mass vaccination clinic before opening

The province is now allowing those who are aged 80 and above to receive the shot, along with essential workers, caregivers and health-care workers.

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Considering the Invista Centre’s size, it appears that the facility is running smoothly and efficiently to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

“I feel like a million bucks,” says Riley Geisler, a Queen’s student. Geisler qualified for the vaccine as a Pharmacy assistant at Shoppers Drug Mart and is scheduled to get his second shot in July.

“The experience in there was awesome. Everybody was super helpful, it was very structured, good directions. The vaccine itself was very simple and painless. It was a great experience. I have no complaints.”

The Ontario government launched its online portal for booking vaccine appointments on Monday and nearly 100,000 people were able to book an appointment.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine portal to have ‘soft launch’ in 6 Ontario regions this week, source says

While some technical issues were reported, Geisler had no complaints.

“It was really streamlined,” he says.

“It brought me directly to the page and it gave me a list of the dates in a calendar view, and I just selected the time that worked best for me and showed up and that’s all it took.”

Now a year into the global pandemic, some people who are arriving for their dose of the vaccine said they wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes an annual vaccine, just like the flu.

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“I have a feeling that we’re probably going to have the COVID vaccines yearly,” says Eric Rebiere.

“Because they mutate, just like the flu does, and I think this is a whole new world for us.”

When the Invista Centre is running at its full capacity, with a full supply of vaccines, KFL&A Public Health says it should be able to vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day.

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