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Interior Health releases locations of 48 mass COVID-19 immunization clinics

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The Interior Health Authority has released the locations of 48 mass COVID-19 immunization clinics that will open in B.C.’s Interior within the next few weeks.

The clinics will be held at arenas, curling clubs, community halls, colleges, convention centres and health centres.

You can find a clinic near you on Interior Health’s website.

Read more: Coronavirus: Vaccination bookings for seniors to begin Monday, says Interior Health

In the Okanagan, Kelowna’s clinics will be held at Kelowna Health Services Centre at 505 Doyle Ave. and Trinity Hall at 1905 Springfield Rd. They open on March 17 and March 15 respectively.

Penticton’s COVID-19 immunization clinic will be held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Cente at 273 Power St. It opens on March 15.

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Eligible Vernon residents will be directed to the Vernon Recreation Centre at 3310 37th Ave. It also opens on March 15.

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Beginning on Monday, seniors aged 90 and up and Aboriginal people aged 65 and up will be able to call Interior Health to book their vaccination appointment.

The phone number is 1-877-740-7747 and it will be open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., PT, seven days a week.

To avoid overwhelming phone lines, eligible residents are asked to call in stages based on their age and birth year.

Call on or after Monday, March 8th if:
You were born in or before 1931 (90+ years)
You are an Aboriginal person born in or before 1956 (65+ years), and Elders

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Call on or after Monday, March 15th if:
You were born in or before the year 1936 (85+ years)

Call on or after Monday, March 22nd if:
You were born in the year 1941 or earlier (80+ years)

A family member or support individual can also book the appointment on behalf of an eligible person.

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You’re asked to have your legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number and current contact information available. Once your appointment is booked you will receive a confirmation email, Interior Health said.

“The focus of this effort will be protecting seniors,” Karen Bloemink, vice-president of pandemic response, said on Sunday.

Read more: Canada on track to get nearly 1M vaccines this week and next: officials

“We anticipate many callers, especially in the first few days, this is why we are asking people to stick to the schedule and call-in in stages,” Bloemink said.

Interior Health is asking the public for patience and reassuring people that there will be enough vaccine to immunize eligible residents.

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If an eligible senior misses their eligibility period to get the shot, they will not lose their spot, Bloemink said.

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“After someone becomes eligible, they can book any time they want, it doesn’t matter which week it is,” she said.

Phase 2 of B.C.’s mass COVID-19 immunization plan will be for the first dose, likely of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and residents will be contacted when they are eligible to receive the second dose.

Eligible residents will not be able to choose which of the four approved vaccines in Canada they can get.

Read more: Coronavirus: B.C. company creates mask recycling program to combat waste

“We are very confident that we all have vaccine available for those who want to receive an immunization,” Bloemink said of the local vaccine supply.

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Interior Health’s community health teams are also reaching out to seniors who may not be able to physically get to a clinic.

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“We first would expect that individuals will come to clinics where at all possible,” she said. “If that is not possible then we will work with those individuals to create a plan to fit the needs of what they do have.”

Health officials warned that vaccinated seniors should not resume their pre-pandemic life.

“At this stage, the provincial health officer orders are still in place,” Dr. Albert De Villiers, chief medical health officer, said.

“Even if you’ve got your vaccine you should still follow all those orders.”

Approximately 400,000 British Columbians will be immunized during the current Phase 2 of B.C.’s immunization plan, from March to mid-April.

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To learn more about the following phases, visit B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan website. 

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