'Everybody was really angry': Manitoba woman says vaccine pop-up site was closed despite having an appointment, not told of closure
WINNIPEG -- The vaccine rollout hasn't been without problems ranging from long lines at the RBC supersite to shipments being delays and appointments having to be rescheduled.
Now a woman from Ste Anne, Man. is voicing her frustration about an appointment she attended, but there was no vaccine clinic.
Shirley Noel told CTV News she went to an appointment on Monday at what was supposed to be a pop-up site in Steinbach, but when she arrived, the site didn't exist.
"I phoned in early last week and I booked an appointment, the only thing available was the RBC Centre. So I booked one there for April 24th," said Noel.
She said she had asked if getting a shot in Steinbach was possible as it was closer for her.
"They said if you want, there's no pop-ups open there right now, but as soon as they get their new shipment, they're going to be booking."
Noel said she was calling to see if anything was available and then on Saturday, April 10, she was told appointments were being booked and she was able to get into the pop-up site in Steinbach on April 12.
"I was all excited and I booked an 11 a.m. appointment."
Between Saturday and Monday, Noel said she received three notifications reminding her of her appointment.
When Noel arrived, she said there were around a dozen people in front who were also waiting for the vaccine.
"Then a lady stepped up and the line wasn't moving and she asked, 'Are you all waiting for vaccines?' and we all said, 'Yes we are.' And she goes 'There's no clinic here today.'"
Noel said the woman wasn't part of the clinic and was part of the reception for the company that owns the building.
She said the woman would take down everyone's names and numbers and that they might get a call from the province later.
While trying to figure everything out, Noel learned that everyone in line also booked their appointment on Saturday.
"Everybody was really angry when they left," said Noel.
She said she called the vaccine phone number and told them her situation. She was told she would just have to book another appointment.
Noel added she also received a call from a nurse at the clinic who apologized for the situation and said the clinic never received its vaccine shipment.
"I can understand if there is a delay. What I can't understand is how they can't call and tell us this clinic is not operating."
She added they didn't even offer for her to be a priority for when the next time there were appointments available in Steinbach.
"There are things that are out of everybody's control and I don't expect them to perform miracles. What I expect of them is, you made a mistake. You didn't notify anybody that there was no clinic there."
She said if an olive branch was given, she would be a lot less angry about the situation.
A spokesperson for the province told CTV News in an email that an administration error led to some people being given wrong information.
"Once we discovered the error we quickly adjusted and wherever possible affected clients were contacted via direct phone calls/emails and they were provided with accurate information," the spokesperson said.
"We will be addressing this issue with our service providers to ensure they are aware of and meet the expected standards. The clinic was cancelled due to a shortage of vaccine provided by the federal government. Affected clients are encouraged to rebook the first available appointment."
The spokesperson said the province apologizes to those who were inconvenienced.
Noel said she has booked another appointment, this time in Morden on April 22. She said the province needs to treat everyone with respect during the vaccine process and feels they should be doing more to assure people that something like this won't happen again.