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Proposals for pop-up vaccine clinics welcome, says Henry

E-mail your suggestions to covid-19@northernhealth.ca
vaccine delivery June 21, 2021
A map showing the pace of vaccinations against COVID-19 in B.C.

If you know of a place, event or a gathering where a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic would work, Northern Health wants to know.

So said Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday as she spoke to provincial media via teleconference from Prince George.

As of Tuesday, 76.2 per cent of British Columbians 12 and older had received their first jab, but those living in Northern Health in general and the B.C. Peace in particular are lagging. 

In the Peace River North and Peace River South local health areas, the rate was 49 per cent as of Monday, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. In Prince George, it was 68 per cent.

Henry dismissed anti-vaccine sentiment as the cause of the lag. Rather, she said providing access to shots is the reason.

"We know in the northeast there is a number of smaller communities spread out in rural areas where it's more challenging for people to get into an immunization clinic and we've had challenges with teams and staffing and being able to get everywhere in the north," Henry said.

Henry urged those with suggestions on where health care providers could set up a clinic to email Northern Health at covid-19@northernhealth.ca.

The BCCDC recorded seven new cases in Northern Health on Tuesday, and 60 active cases, up two from Monday.

Province-wide, 56 new cases were reported and active cases stood at 1,150, down 54 from Monday. As well, no new deaths were reported.

Henry said the "carrot versus stick approach" has worked well.

"It really is about encouragement, about answering people's questions and making sure that we have confidence in the vaccines that we have and what we've seen over and over again is access - taking away barriers for access to vaccines, making it convenient for people. That goes a long way for people in many, many communities," Henry said.