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SASKATOON – If you are afraid of a COVID-19 vaccination, two special walk-in clinics in Saskatoon can help you calm down.
On Thursday and Saturday, people can choose to hang out with a furry friend while they get the jab in Prairieland Park.
It’s part of a joint initiative with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the University of Saskatchewan, and St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs to give people extra support, comfort, and encouragement to get the injection.
“The dogs are just there to give them some of the little energy they might need to get that little shot in the arm. And we’re only here to help wherever we can, ”said Stephanie Peachey, provincial reviewer for the St. John Ambulance Dog Therapy Program in Saskatchewan.
According to Peachey, this is the first in-person visit for the program’s therapy dogs since March 2020.
“This is exciting for our dogs, it’s exciting for our teams to be here to support a very beneficial situation, but we also know that people are very reluctant so we are here to give them that support “, she said.
You will have two dogs an hour each time you visit.
If all goes well, Peachey said St. John Ambulance would be open to similar events in other areas of the province.
Colleen Dell, professor and research professor of One Health and Wellness at U of S, said the hesitation about vaccines and the fear of vaccines is why they decided to add dogs to the mix now.
“The dog doesn’t judge. We know very well from research that the dog is not seen or perceived as judging. So if someone hasn’t had their vaccine yet, they may feel condemned for not being here. ” She said.
“They bring back memories of our own pets, often when we were younger, and the great feelings we had. So they come and flood us, so that’s a good thing. And when we actually stroke the dog, we have oxytocin, right, so these ‘love hormones’. “
The therapy dogs will be in the walk-in vaccination clinic in Prairieland Park on Thursday until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
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