Sensory-friendly vaccination clinics offer calm setting for kids in Waterloo Region
WATERLOO -- New sensory-friendly vaccination clinics are offering a calmer environment for kids getting their COVID-19 vaccine in Waterloo Region.
The region partnered with KidsAbility to open several sensory-sensitive clinics in Waterloo and Cambridge.
"The whole goal is to make it so anyone who wants an immunization has a barrier-free experience," said Debra Tak, a nurse with the Region of Waterloo. "This definitely will help take some of the overwhelming feelings out of the factor."
The clinics are an alternate option for kids like 10-year-old Jevon Bromley, who went to a mass vaccination clinic before deciding to try a sensory-friendly location.
"I think I can get it but I'm a bit scared to because I'm afraid it's going to hurt," Bromley admitted.
"I think it's really important because fear of needles is a real thing and we have to be conscious that everyone who wants to be vaccinated should be able to do so in a setting that is comfortable and kind and caring," said Jevon's mother Stephanie.
Jevon didn't end up getting his shot on Sunday but did book another appointment to return and try again.
Staff said each child can take as much time as they need and will be taken to their own room once they're comfortable with getting the shot.
"We've had some kids that have been there an hour and a half. It's taken them that long to be ready. We've had some kids that have had very strong reaction to the idea of being vaccinated and we're okay with that," KidsAbility CEO Linda Kenny told CTV News. "We'll just do whatever it takes to help that child be successful."
The clinic is open for anyone aged five to 17, with an option for family members to get vaccinated at the same time.
Anyone looking to book an appointment can do so on the Region of Waterloo website.