Vaccination clinics scheduled for all adults in some of Interior Health’s smaller communities

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 vaccine clinics set up for small Interior communities' COVID-19 vaccine clinics set up for small Interior communities
WATCH: When you are eligible for a vaccine may depend on where you live. For practical reasons, Interior Health is hosting vaccination clinics for younger age groups in dozens of small or remote communities around the region. Reporter Megan Turcato was in Sicamous where a clinic for people 60 and older opened on Wednesday. – Mar 24, 2021

Rural and remote communities in the Interior Health region will see a less age-based approach to COVID-19 vaccinations than the bigger cities.

Interior Health has released a vaccination schedule for more than 40 communities in the region where people 18 years of age and older will be able to receive their shot.

On Wednesday, residents who lived in Sicamous and were 60 years of age or older were given their vaccination.

Read more: B.C. to hire 1,400 out-of-work tourism and hospitality workers at vaccination clinics

“We looked at specific communities that are small and that are a little bit isolated and don’t necessarily have as much medical care,” Interior Health chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said.

“It doesn’t really help going in and doing all the 90-year-olds and then all the 80-year-olds because there might only be 10 of each.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s just easier to do the whole community at the same time.”

Read more: COVID-19 — Amended B.C. health order allows for outdoor religious gatherings

De Villiers acknowledged that the system means younger people in small communities might get vaccinated before some seniors.

“It’s just the practicality of it,” he said. “Eventually everybody is going to get their vaccine.”

Read more: British Columbia considers paid time off for workers to get COVID-19 vaccine

If residents aren’t able to book an appointment the first time, DeVilliers recommended that they keep trying.

“You’re going to stay eligible forever now basically,” he said.

Sicamous resident Joan Chafe said she was thrilled that Interior Health was vaccinating people that were 60 and older in the community on the first day of the clinic.

Read more: Vernon Farmers’ Market welcomes relaxed COVID-19 restrictions on craft sales

“I think it’s great that small communities are getting it fairly quickly,” she said. “And we are a tourist town, so we have lots of people that come in, regardless of restrictions some of the time, so I’m very, very happy.”

Story continues below advertisement

Most of Interior Health’s clinics for smaller communities are scheduled for April.

People hoping to get their shot will be expected to provide identification to prove they live in the region and should phone in advance for an appointment.

Read more: Last month was B.C.’s deadliest-ever February for illicit drug overdoses

De Villiers said Interior Health has administered more than 80,000 vaccine doses so far.

“And that’s good news. We’re averaging I think around 2,500 to 2,600 a day currently and the numbers are steadily increasing as we get more vaccine we’ll be able to increase that as well.”

Click to play video: 'Interior Health opens Okanagan vaccination clinics' Interior Health opens Okanagan vaccination clinics
Interior Health opens Okanagan vaccination clinics – Mar 15, 2021

Sponsored content