The Happy Gang Centre seniors club and Safeway recently teamed up to host a flu shot clinic.
Eric Durando, pharmacy manager for Safeway, said that in normal years the pharmacy hosts its own flu shot clinic but the space is not large enough accommodate such a clinic while maintaining physical distancing and other COVID-19 safety precautions.
The Happy Gang Centre’s location on Kalum St., however, has more open space. Plus it’s not seeing much use these days — the centre is normally a vibrant meeting place with food and games, but with COVID-19, most seniors are staying home, leaving the centre short of both patrons and volunteers, according to Greg Cowman, president of the Terrace Old Age Pensioners Association, which runs the centre.
A lunch service normally offered by the centre has been on hold since the start of the pandemic.
The clinic ran over five days at the end of October. Happy Gang volunteers were set up safely outside the centre’s front door to screen incoming patients for symptoms of illness.
Inside the centre, Durando and his staff administered vaccines and wiped down surfaces between patients.
Durando said that at the start of the clinic, he cautiously booked a low amount of patients, but he realized early on that the setup was running efficiently and, more importantly, safely. He increased the frequency of appointments.
In total, the clinic administered 550 vaccines.
Durando and Safeway manager Ryan Shannon said they were extremely grateful for the Happy Gang Centre’s assistance with the clinic.
Shannon presented Cowman with $2500 in Safeway gift cards, saying the Happy Gang Centre should use the cards to fill its fridge once the pandemic passes and the centre comes out of hibernation mode.
Cowman said the cards were greatly appreciated as the centre has had to get rid of nearly all its food stores, including frozen goods.