South Surrey’s Lorraine Gibson can’t wait to give her grandkids a big hug.
Gibson, 90, was one of a number of seniors who received a drive-thru Pfizer vaccination Monday (March 15) at the South Surrey Park and Ride immunization clinic operated by Fraser Health. Fraser Health invited some media to the clinic to photograph and interview seniors who gave consent.
The clinic was for seniors who are 90 years old or older. Luckily for Gibson, she celebrated her 90th birthday at the end of January.
Speaking to Peace Arch News moments prior to receiving her vaccine, Gibson said she felt it was important to get vaccinated and wasn’t nervous about the needle prick.
“I feel quite comfortable,” she said from the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by her daughter Karen Longley.
As Longley and Gibson pulled up to the clinic tent, Gibson rolled down her window, rolled up her sleeve and let a Fraser Health nurse administer the vaccine.
“As easy as shooting fish,” she said moments after receiving the shot.
“I felt it, but it didn’t hurt. It was just easy.”
While Gibson said she wasn’t planning to hit up any nightclubs in the future, she did say she would be happy to get together with her two grandchildren.
The last time she hugged her adult grandchildren, she said, was January 2020.
“Everybody says they’re looking forward to their hugs,” Gibson said. “Everybody’s going to get big hugs.”
While she received her first dose, Gibson acknowledged that it will be some time before she’s fully vaccinated. The effects of her first dose don’t kick in for 14 days, and then she has to receive a second dose in the following weeks.
Longley, who lives with her mother, is her primary caregiver.
“It’s tough, because I miss my hugs from my kids, too. But at least I can give my mom a hug,” Longley said.
“We have a hug every night,” Gibson followed. “It’s an important thing to love your family, love your neighbours, love God, love everybody.”
At 9:30 a.m., there were about a dozen cars lined up for the immunization clinic. The temporary clinic was originally built as a COVID-19 test collection centre and was then partly transformed to a vaccine clinic. The facility still serves as a COVID-19 test collection centre.
Gibson waited about 10 or 15 minutes before she received her vaccination. After she received her shot, she was told to stay on the property for 15 minutes in case she had an allergic reaction.
Fraser Health said it was expected to administer 250 to 300 doses on Monday. People who received their first shot are expected to receive a second dose in four months.