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COVID-19: Walk-in vaccination clinic at Okanagan high school hopes to increase access, IHA says

Click to play video: 'Walk-in vaccination clinic at Okanagan high school in hopes to increase access, IHA says' Walk-in vaccination clinic at Okanagan high school in hopes to increase access, IHA says
Interior Health is working closely with Central Okanagan Public Schools to increase access to vaccines for students and family members – Sep 16, 2021

Interior Health is working closely with Central Okanagan Public Schools to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines in the area.

They held a walk-in vaccination clinic at George Elliot Secondary School in Lake Country Thursday.

The walk-in vaccination clinic was open at the high school between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Read more: Moderna COVID-19 vaccine gets Health Canada approval for kids 12+

Interior Health is encouraging all eligible students to get vaccinated to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the school system.

Students, staff and family members were able to get vaccinated at the clinic.

Under the B.C. Infants Act, in a section titled ‘Mature Minor Consent and Immunization,’ students do not have to have their parents’ consent if they are found mentally capable of making their own decision.

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“What is covered with the Mature Minor Consent is the benefits of getting immunized, the risks of not getting immunized, any common side-effects and the medical reasons not to receive a vaccine,” said Dr. Silvina Mema.

Read more: Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines get full Health Canada approval — and new names

Interior Health says around 50 per cent of students between the ages of 12-17 in Lake Country are fully immunized.

IHA hopes the walk-in clinic boosts that number as the delta variant is prevalent.

“Now, we have the Delta variant across B.C., which is much more transmissible,” said Dr. Mema.

“So in a sense, we are in a better position now because we have the vaccine but we are also facing a more transmissible virus.”

Central Okanagan Public Schools’ is in full support of Interior Health’s message that encourages all eligible students to be vaccinated.

“Vaccines are the most powerful tool in our toolkit. I encourage those that can to get vaccinated and I hope they make that choice,” said Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools’ superintendent.

“I think we are all trying to make sure that those who are able or who choose to be vaccinated can be vaccinated in the most convenient way possible.”

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Read more: B.C. youth who want the COVID-19 vaccine do not need parental consent or a signed form

Four more walk-in vaccination clinics are scheduled for Central Okanagan Public Schools:

  • Rutland Middle School – Sept. 21, 2021
  • Constable Neil Bruce Middle School – Sept. 22, 2021
  • Dr. Knox Middle School – Sept. 23, 2021
  • KLO Middle School – Sept. 24, 2021
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