East York flu queue quieter

Scores of people waited in line again Monday morning at the East York Civic Centre to receive their H1N1 flu shots.

For the past week, crowds of people have inundated the centre at Coxwell Road and Mortimer Avenue hoping to get the swine flu vaccination in time for peak flu season.

Saturday’s clinic saw people lining up at 4:30 in the morning, in the rain, with the hope of beating the crowds expected later in the day.

However, Monday morning saw a much smaller crowd. In fact, the first person didn’t even show up until around 7:30.

Ed Hogan was one of about 200 people in line by 11 a.m. He was there holding a place for his daughter-in-law and two grand-children.

“My daughter-in-law is extremely worried about (H1N1.) She’s asthmatic and she’s worried about the kids too,” he said.

Hogan was surprised the line at the EYCC wasn’t that long. After the mess many people experienced on the weekend, or last week, he was expecting to have to spend a few hours holding a place for his family.

“People had friends here on Saturday waiting in the rain for five or six hours…It’s kind of sunny today, so it’s not a bad day to wait outside,” he said.

Originally, Monday was the day the shot would be made available to the general population, but vaccine producer GlaxoSmithKline recently announced it didn’t have a large enough supply to meet demand.

The high-priority group includes people aged six months to 65 years old with chronic medical conditions, women more than 20 weeks pregnant, and health-care workers.

Like many others, Hogan isn’t eligible for the vaccination himself: “I’m just doing the good grandfather thing,” he said with a laugh.

Public Health officials say they don’t have a definite time line in place yet, but that anyone who wants is, should be able to receive the shot by Christmas.