For most of us, the best we can hope for when we walk out of our COVID-19 vaccine appointment is maybe a sticker.
But there’s one spot in Vancouver where you can get a real Italian experience and even go home with a delicious lasagna, too.
The Italian Cultural Centre of Vancouver (ICC) is the site of one of Vancouver Coastal Health’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics, along with the Vancouver Convention Centre and the Killarney Community Centre.
Folks who end up going here for their jab might be having the most fun you can have while getting a vaccine.
In a video posted to Twitter, one user @galgracen said that they “literally make you sit and watch a video of a guy stirring red sauce after you get your shot.” The video shows the inside of the vaccine clinic where a video is playing on the wall of the immunization site.
heres a photo of the lasagna i brought home from the vaccination clinic…… tastes great pic.twitter.com/nQZcv5Be3n
— 🐟 𝒈𝒂𝒍 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆𝒏 🐠 (@galgracen) January 8, 2022
“This is considered soothing to Italians,” reads one reply to the video. “This pacifies the Italian, lulling them into a gentle slumber,” reads another.
Then, the same user shared a photo of the lasagna they got from the centre while they were there.
“With the introduction of the vaccination centre in March 2021, we started our piazza café to serve those attending for vaccinations,” Mario Miceli from the ICC told Daily Hive by email.
“Our kitchen staff is committed to producing these lasagnas in-house and they are sold as quickly as they’re made. We offer frozen meat or vegetarian and in either a family size (feeds 6 – 8) or a generous single portion.”
Miceli told Daily Hive that the video playing in the vaccination centre is a demo of how Il Centro makes their lasagna.
“Those attending for their vaccine will see it playing on our multiple screens in our Ballroom. It shows the steps from the noodles to the sauce and the assembly of the lasagna.”
Miceli said that they offered the ICC as a vaccine site and were honoured to be chosen by Vancouver Coastal Health, promising to give them an exceptional experience.
“We are more than an Italian Cultural Centre – we are a community asset and we are proud to be contributing to helping the community overcome this pandemic. This is a testament to those Italian immigrants who created and built il Centro that has been serving the community since 1977,” said Miceli.
Now, picking up a lasagna while you get your COVID-19 vaccine or booster is becoming a habit for Vancouverites.
They sell those lasagnas just outside! I know because I’m weak and bought one. pic.twitter.com/utiHZWQPqY
— Sarah Ellis Fox (@sarahellisfox) January 8, 2022
And the replies to the original video shed more light that this is indeed a cultural phenomenon in East Vancouver. So the next time you’re in need of a filling meal for the whole family or some protection against COVID-19, you know where to go.
If you want to watch the famous lasagna video, it’s on the ICC Youtube now, so you don’t have to wait until your next COVID-19 vaccine appointment to learn how their lasagna is made. Watch the video now:
Daily Hive has reached out to Vancouver Coastal Health and will update this story.