Houston Today file photo

Vaccination rate here falls short

Unknown when further clinics may be held

COVID-19 vaccinations in Houston have so far failed to hit the 50 per cent mark of those eligible, a level that’s below what’s considered necessary for community immunity.

As of April 16, the last day of the local community clinic for people over the age of 18, 1,605 people had been vaccinated, just over 47 per cent of those eligible, indicates information provided by the Northern Health Authority.

Approximately 50 other people were vaccinated earlier in the year when the emphasis was first on residents of care facilities and health care workers.

But at the 47 per cent mark, the provincial health ministry says that’s below the 65-70 per cent of eligible people who need to be immunized to reach the herd or community immunization level.

Herd or community immunity is defined as when a large enough portion of a population is resistant to a virus, infection rates drop and the virus peters out. While not every person may be immune, the whole population has protection.

The percentage of eligible people in Granisle receiving a vaccination was not available but Northern Health said 203 appointments were completed at that community’s clinic.

“Those who did not book into the local [Granisle] clinic, will be able to do so in the Burns Lake clinic, going forward. The Burns Lake North Community Health Services Area that includes Granisle has seen more than 49 per cent of residents receive at least one dose,” said Eryn Collins from Northern Health. That figure came at the conclusion of a period of community clinics in Burns Lake and does not include the nearly 70 people vaccinated at a follow up one-day clinic held April 22 in Burns Lake.

“While I’m unable to break that down any further into age groups or ethnicities – I can say that vaccine uptake is higher in older age groups and gradually declines, the younger the group; but that is consistent across the North, not unique to Houston or Burns Lake North,” she said.

As of late last week there was no immediate indication of when and where Houston and area residents can now receive a vaccination through Northern Health.

“In Houston, those who were unable to attend due to illness or otherwise, can call the health unit to have their name added to a waitlist for first dose appointments – additional clinic days will be determined based on demand and vaccine supply,” said Collins.

She also suggested people keep referring to the Northern Health COVID-19 information website to track new vaccine information as it becomes available.

“We’re encouraged by the uptake, thus far; but it’s important to keep in mind there will be immunization opportunities on an ongoing basis and so we continue to encourage people to register for and get their vaccine,” Collins continued.

If Northern Health vaccination options were not immediately available as of late last week, neither was another route, that being a vaccination at a pharmacy.

Two weeks ago the provincial government began releasing the AstraZeneca vaccine through pharmacies for people between the age of 55 and 65, later dropping the age to 40. It also sent supplies of that vaccine to 13 communities experiencing high rates of infection.

As of late last week there were 624 pharmacies offering AstraZeneca vaccine across the province. And as of April 21, more than 153,100 doses of AstraZeneca to people, primarily over the age of 55, had been provided through the pharmacies.

But that list did not include pharmacies in Houston, Burns Lake or Smithers and there is no indication yet of when these pharmacies might be supplied.

Along Hwy16, the vaccine was available at 12 Prince George pharmacies and three in Terrace.

“We can deliver vaccine at a rapid rate here in B.C. but are restricted based on the supply we receive from manufacturers and the federal government,” indicated a statement from the health ministry.

As of late last week provincial officials said the supply of AstraZeneca for B.C. had been committed and that there would be a temporary delay in shipments to Canada.

“The availability of the vaccine is continually changing and as we receive more supply, we’re able to add more pharmacies to our immunization program. We will continue to direct the vaccine where it is needed most.”

igure did not include a one-day

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

Council wants a say in the expansion of long term care services in Smithers. Pictured here is the Bulkley Lodge facility in that community. (Google photo)
Long term care remains on council priority list

Wants to be involved in expansion plans in Smithers

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Most Read