WARMINGTON: Pop-up vaccine clinics a hot ticket and a long wait

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Call this the hottest ticket in town.

And buddies Steve Szentesi and Richard Elliott were able to secure the first two.

Not for a rock concert or sports game or for a big sale.

These tickets are to get the much-coveted and short-in-supply COVID-19 vaccine.

They were not the only two who desired it.

In fact, thousands congregated early Thursday in a mass lineup at Jimmie Simpson Park at Queen St. E. and Logan Ave.

The problem is, word has it there are just 2,000 doses available.

A lineup of people for a pop-up vaccine clinic at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre in Toronto on Thursday, June 17, 2021.
A lineup of people for a pop-up vaccine clinic at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre in Toronto on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Photo by Joe Warmington /Toronto Sun

Szentesi wanted to make sure he got one of them.

“I came at 3 a.m. and camped out all night,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I got one.”

His first shot was AstraZeneca but this time he will be getting Pfizer.

“I just want to get it over with,” he said.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

His pal Richard was in line for his second shot of Pfizer and said there’s peace of mind to know that this will be behind him.

But they had to camp out to make it happen at Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre.

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“We were originally across the street but eventually they moved us into the park,” said Steve.

He and Richard were first but soon after there were hundreds.

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The city of Toronto had people issuing tickets for entry.

Steve’s said 0001.

“I could probably sell this,” he joked. “But I wouldn’t.”

The lineup snaked throughout the whole park and social distancing did not appear to be happening. Many people were working on their laptops or sitting on the ground having a picnic as they waited.

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It’s an unusual sight in Toronto’s history. But it shows the frenzy that people have to get vaccinated and also the supply issues that people face.

“It’s not easy to find a vaccine,” said Elliott.

He and Steve learned about this clinic on Twitter and knew what they had to do: Get up early.

The doors were set to open at 8 a.m.

“It was worth the wait,” said Steve.

Many others did too.

There’s no event more coveted in Toronto today.

jwarmington@postmedia.com

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