Those getting their COVID-19 vaccine also received a card as proof. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

Vaccine clinic continues this week

Plenty of booking spots available

Just over 200 people a day were receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations in the first days of the community-wide clinic being held at the main building of the Coast Mountain College campus.

In all, 650 people were vaccinated from April 6 – 8 with the clinic continuing daily until April 16 in order to vaccinate as many people as possible who are over the age of 18.

An earlier clinic vaccinated Indigenous residents over 65 and those over 80 making for a total of 1,000 people in the Houston area to have received their first dose since January, said Eryn Collins from Northern Health.

And that’s not including long-term care and assisted living residents and health care staffers immunized prior to clinics being set up, she said.

“Based on an estimated 2,550 or so people being eligible, locally – we’re at close to 40 per cent who have received at least one dose,” Collins continued in analyzing data as of April 8.

Heading into last weekend, there were 380 bookings made for the April 9 – 16 period, meaning there were plenty of spots available, she added.

Houston is one of approximately one dozen smaller communities in the north where everyone over the age of 18 is eligible for a vaccination as it is more efficient to do it that way then having to set up different clinic periods based on age or other categories.

Granisle’s community-wide clinic began April 7 and was scheduled to last until April 9.

Each vial of vaccine contains six doses but once thawed, the vaccine must be used within six hours, meaning clinic workers make every effort to avoid doses going to waste if there is any excess due to people missing appointments or other reasons as the end of a clinic’s opening period approaches.

For smaller communities such as Houston, where everyone over the age of 18 is eligible, workers will reach out to those who are able to come to the clinic on short notice.

In larger centres which still have eligibility restricted by age groupings, workers will reach out to a person who fits the criteria for that community but who is not yet scheduled who can come to the clinic at short notice and then to someone who is in the next age grouping and who can also come to the clinic on short notice.

“If neither of these is an option, then the third step in the process is based on proximity — giving it to someone who can be easily located and is available to be vaccinated on short notice,” said Collins.

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