Aside from scheduled and drop-in clinics, Northern Health has been setting up pop up clinics where and when possible. This one was at the June 11 farmers market. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

Aside from scheduled and drop-in clinics, Northern Health has been setting up pop up clinics where and when possible. This one was at the June 11 farmers market. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

COVID vaccine clinics continue in Houston

Times vary to accommodate as many people as possible

Last week’s COVID vaccine clinic, billed as a drop in, at the Coast Mountain College building here drew in nearly 250 people for their shots with some lining up in the rain outside as they waited their turn.

Another drop in clinic is planned for today from noon to 4 p.m. with one more June 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. as the Northern Health Authority varies times in order to make the clinics as accessible as possible.

Some of those who did show up at the June 9 clinic here were turned away.

Eryn Collins from the Northern Health Authority said the clinic was not only for drop ins.

“While we’re making drop in opportunities part of the options, we continue to focus on booked appointments, and drop in slots are limited,” she said.

“Having a booked appointment is the best way to ensure you get your shot when you want to, and it also supports Northern Health’s clinic planning and logistics.”

“Our teams are doing all they can to immunize as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” Collins added.

Northern Health did hold a pop up vaccination clinic at the June 11 farmers market.

And aside from available drop in clinic times, those who have booked appointments have clinic dates of June 17, June 24 and June 30 this month.

As of midnight June 10, data for Houston and area shows that 57 per cent of the eligible population has had at least one dose.

And as of June 7, data posted by the BC Centre for Disease Control places the Smithers Local Health Area, which includes Houston, in about the mid-range of percentages of the population who have received a shot.

The data shows that 59 per cent of the population age 12 and up, 62 per cent of the population age 18 and up and 75 per cent of the population age 50 and up have received a vaccination.

The comparatively low percentage rate for the 12 and up category is mainly due to the short period of time vaccines were made available to people between the ages of 12 and 18. Generally speaking, people from 12 to 18 were able to get their shots after the May long weekend.

Also as of June 7, percentage figures for the Burns Lake Local Health Area were comparable — 59 per cent for age 12 and up, 63 per cent for age 18 and up and 73 per cent for age 50 and up.

Northeastern B.C. percentages are lower with, for example, the Peace River North Local Health Area registering 46 per cent for the age 12 and up category and Peace River South Local Health Area at 44 per cent.

The Kamloops Local Health Area registers 70 per cent of the population over 12 as having received a shot while it is 78 per cent in the Revelstoke Local Health Area.