Coast Mountain College’s main building here is once again a busy place with Northern Health employees now providing COVID-19 vaccinations to everyone over the age of 18 who wishes one.
The community clinic location opened yesterday and continues to April 16 with Houston being one of nearly 15 communities in the north in which anyone over the age of 18 is now eligible.
A community vaccination clinic in Granisle is to open tomorrow and run until April 9.
Houston’s first community clinic of several weeks ago on March 22 was restricted as to age with people needing to be over the age of 80 or Indigenous people over the age of 65.
But Northern Health within days opened its phone call centre to bookings for the April 6-16 period for people over the age of 18.
“The immunization clinic in Houston has been going smoothly, and so far just over 350 community members have been immunized who have been eligible in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the vaccination campaign including in the recent phase 2 clinic,” said Northern Health official Eryn Collins in referring to a first round of residents in care facilities and health care workers followed by the March 22 clinic.
“It takes a combined effort to immunize a whole community, and we’re grateful for the support of our partners in the clinic operations, and for Houston residents’ cooperation and patience.”
As of late last week more than 1,000 residents have booked appointments for the clinic period which started yesterday.
“All Houston residents 18 and older are eligible to book, which is approximately 2,400 people. We’re looking forward to immunizing as many of those people as come through the clinic doors, in the coming weeks,” said Collins.
Northern Health estimates about 400 people in Granisle and area are eligible.
Burns Lake is also the location as of April 5 and lasting until April 12 of a community clinic for people over the age of 18 while the Southside is to have its clinic from April 12 to April 19.
Hudson’s Hope, Chetwynd, Fort St. James, Tumbler Ridge, Fraser Lake, Mackenzie, McBride and Valemount are also on the list of community clinics for people over the age of 18.
Community clinics for people over the age of 18 are considered more efficient because of the smaller numbers of people involved. It also means Northern Health workers do not have to revisit these locations.
Prince Rupert, which went through an extensive community vaccination clinic, was an exception because of the high numbers of COVID-19 cases there. That effort included neighbouring Port Edward.