A Northern Health COVID vaccination pop up clinic appeared at Steelhead Park Aug. 11. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

Houston COVID vaccination rates remain low

And case counts are rising across the north

COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Houston area remain well below the provincial average, show latest statistics made available.

As of the end of Aug. 10, 65 per cent of the local population age 12 and over had at least one dose.

That’s compared to an estimated 81 per cent of the provincial population 12 and over having received at least one dose and 60 per cent of the total population having received a second dose.

Data for the Smithers area shows a similar situation although there is a gap between the people living in Smithers itself and those living in the rural area surrounding Smithers.

For Smithers itself, 74 per cent of those living there 12 years old and up had at least one dose but in the rural area surrounding Smithers, the rate drops to just 62 per cent.

In Burns Lake and area, 67 per cent of those age 12 years and up have had a first dose and 57 per cent have had a second dose while in the Nechako area to the east, 63 per cent have had a first dose and 52 per cent a second dose.

Percentage rates drop, however for the 18-49 age group with 61 per cent in Smithers and Houston areas receiving a first dose and just 47 per cent receiving a second dose.

In Burns Lake among the same age group, 60 per cent have received a first dose and 48 per cent a second dose while in the Nechako area, 58 per cent have received a first dose and just 42 per cent a second dose.

The relatively low rate for the Houston area comes as Northern Health employees now stage two clinics a week at the Coast Mountain College building — one each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon and one each Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Those wishing either a first or second vaccination are asked to book an appointment and, depending upon supply, walk ins might also be able to receive a shot.

Northern Health employees also set up a pop up clinic at Steelhead Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 11.

“The Houston clinic team reports that, on average. they’ve been administering 40-60 doses per week lately – and that doesn’t include pop up opportunities,” said Northern Health official Eryn Collins.

COVID-19 case counts have also been rising in the Northern Health area. For the period Aug. 7-9, 30 new cases were reported for an active case count of 108 with 15 more being reported on Aug. 10 t boost the active case count to 111 and 12 more on Aug. 11, pushing the active case count to 116.

The active case count does vary from day to day as people are considered recovered.