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Kelowna neighbourhoods report nearly 90% of eligible residents with 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Some Kelowna neighbourhoods are reporting very high vaccination rates. BCCDC

Despite getting off to a slow start, some Okanagan neighbourhoods are starting to see COVID-19 immunization rates surpass provincial averages.

Around 88.3 per cent (4,092,813) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest from the province.

On Tuesday, the BC Centre for Disease Control released another week of data on vaccination rates, showing that while the Central Okanagan overall had 85 per cent of residents aged 12 and older with at least one vaccine dose as of Sept. 30, a number of neighbourhoods were nearing the 90 per cent mark.

Read more: Vaccination rates around the Okanagan vary by neighbourhood, city

Leading the race to total vaccination is Glenmore, where 89 per cent of residents age 12 and older have had at least one shot.

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Not far off, Okanagan Mission residents now report 88 per cent one-shot vaccination coverage and downtown Kelowna has 87 per cent coverage.

Central Okanagan rural, an area that includes Joe Rich and Peachland, is reporting that 79 per cent of eligible residents have had at least one shot and in Lake Country and Rutland, 81 per cent have had one shot.

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The North Okanagan is overall still below the provincial average, but its one-shot vaccination rates for those age 12 and over are also on the rise.

The BC Centre for Disease Control is reporting that Vernon Centre/Coldstream reached an 83 per cent vaccination rate, Armstrong/Spallumcheen is at 75 per cent and the North Okanagan and Lumby area is at 76 per cent.

Vaccination rates continue to be worst in Enderby, where only 69 per cent of eligible people 12 and over have had at least one shot and in Salmon Arm, the number is 78 per cent.

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Read more: North Okanagan politicians speak out about low COVID-19 vaccine rates

In the South Okanagan, 86 per cent of Penticton residents have had at least one shot and in Summerland, the number is 86 per cent.

While the province is still encouraging vaccination for those who have yet to get a shot, some will soon be queuing up for a third shot.

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Roughly 100,000 “clinically extremely vulnerable people,” whose first two doses of the vaccine may not have provided them with the same level of protection provided to others, are about to be offered a third shot.

“We now know that adding a third dose can actually stimulate a response for many people that gives them as much protection or at least some protection closer to what people with a strong immune system have,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday.

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Last week, third-dose eligibility was extended to long-term care residents in the province.

Read more: B.C. reports 641 new COVID-19 cases as the province reintroduces mandatory mask policy

British Columbians who have mixed vaccine doses and want to travel to countries that don’t recognize their particular combination have yet to get the green light for a third jab.

COVID-19 case numbers have been high as of late, but on Tuesday there was some relatively good news for Interior Health.

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On Oct. 5, the region reported 128 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, which is the lowest daily case count in weeks.

There were 203 in the Fraser Health region, 107 on Vancouver Island, 87 in Northern Health and 68 in Vancouver Coastal.

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There were no new COVID-19 deaths recorded in that 24-hour period.

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