Hundreds turn out after hepatitis A scare

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April 27, 2009 06:50 PM

Restaurant patrons overwhelm vaccine clinic
By Amanda Persico

Hundreds of coffee consumers skipped the afternoon caffeine fix and headed straight for the clinic, causing traffic backlogs and long lines in the heat.

After two cases of hepatitis A were found at the Yonge Street and Savage Road Tim Hortons restaurant last week, York Region health opened a vaccine clinic at the Newmarket Health Centre today.

After a little more than an hour of being open to those who ate at the restaurant between April 2 and 22, police officers were called to control the influx of traffic along Eagle Street.

Police are re-directing people to the vaccine clinic at the Magna Centre from 4 to 8 p.m.

Health centre employees handed out flyers about the second clinic to drivers caught in the backlog along Eagle and Sandford streets. Police officers announced the location of the second clinic through a megaphone. One office even took an advertising sandwich-board and wrote the message in pen for passersby.

With hundreds lining up for the free vaccination, the wait is already at the two hour mark as people who arrived at the clinic at 3:30 p.m. were just leaving.

"It's a long process, all the waiting and not knowing. It's moving in bits and pieces," said Newmarket resident Gerri Vanveen, who visited the Tim Hortons April 13 and ordered coffee and doughnuts.

"It's a heads-up on what can happen and are we prepared for it."

Employees are handing out water to people lined up out the front door and around the building, waiting to fill out consent forms and then into a nursing station for the vaccine.

There are two public vaccination clinics open. One is at the Newmarket Health Centre at 194 Eagle St. and the other at the Magna Centre at 800 Mulock Dr. Both clinics are open until 8 p.m.


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