Houston Health Centre. (File photo)

Houston Health Centre. (File photo)

COVID vaccination rates fall off in Houston and area

Leased clinic space no longer needed

The volume of people getting their first or second or booster COVID-19 vaccines has fallen to the point the Northern Health Authority no longer needs space it leased from Coast Mountain College.

“A number of COVID-19 clinics had either already been located at, or returned to, local health units; in other communities, vaccines were being offered at local hospitals or health centres, and continue to be,” said Northern Health official Eryn Collins.

The leased college space had been the Northern Health vaccination location since early 2021 when the volume of vaccines began to increase so that members of the public could receive their shots.

As of June 1, the number of Houston and area residents receiving first and second doses or boosters had been inching up by an average .1 per cent of the eligible population a week.

In that regard, Houston is not alone in the north with some locations indicating there had been no vaccination activity at all based on statistics now being released every two weeks by Northern Health.

Those same statistics now indicate 85 per cent of the northern population age 12 and over has received at least one dose and 81 per cent have received two doses which is considered full immunization.

In Houston and area 81.6 per cent of people over the age of 12 have received one dose, 76.7 per cent have received two doses and 38.9 per cent have received a third dose. Doses are spaced out and people contacted when it is their turn for a subsequent dose.

Child vaccination rates for those age 5 to 11 continue to lag in Houston and area with 21.5 per cent, or one in five children within that age spread, having received a first dose.

Houston is not alone in this category with few areas in the north reaching the halfway mark when it comes to vaccinations within this age group.

Rural Vanderhoof, for example, stands at 15.3 per cent and the Peace River north rural area is at 9.8 per cent.

Pharmacies in some communities are now fulfilling the role of vaccine providers but that is not the case in Houston and the Houston Health Centre undertakes that role.