Sunday March 7, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc, editor | Island Social Trends
On this sunny Sunday afternoon, Island Health was excited to share information about the 19 community clinics where more than 40,000 eligible residents will receive their first COVID-19 immunization over the next month.
Information about community clinics spanning island communities from Sooke to Port Hardy is posted at www.islandhealth.ca/covid19vaccine, The locations are more directly listed at https://covid19.islandclinics.ca/ .
- In the west shore, the clinic is at the Eagle Ridge Arena, 1089 Langford Parkway (Langford), from Monday March 15 to Sunday October 31, from 9 am to 6 pm daily.
- In Sooke the clinic is at SEAPARC Leisure Complex, 2168 Phillips Road. From Monday March 15 to Sunday October 31, 2021. 9 am to 6 pm (Mon-Thurs), and 9 am to 4 pm (Fri-Sun).
- In Saanich there is a clinic on the UVic campus, in the UVic McKinnon Gym at 11 Gabriola Road. Open Monday March 15 to Tuesday June 1, 2021. Open 9 am to 6 pm daily.
- In the downtown/Esquimalt core area there is a clinic at the Archie Browing Sports Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Rd (Esquimalt). From Monday March 15 to Sunday October 31. 9 am to 6 pm (Mon-Thurs), and 9 am to 4 pm (Fri-Sun).
Ease of access:
When planning community clinic locations, Island Health focused on key principles centered around ease of access:
- In more urban areas, aiming for a travel time of about no more than 15 minutes;
- Accessible by individuals with mobility challenges, including but not limited to wheelchair and walker access;
- On or close to major transportation routes and bus routes;
- The availability of functional clinic space and space to support appropriate physical distancing.
Island Health says it is also working closely with Indigenous partners to help support a culturally safe experience for Indigenous people in all clinics. Immunizations will also be offered at Friendship Centres, including in Port Hardy, Victoria and Port Alberni.
Moving into Phase 2:
As we move into Phase 2 of the B.C. Immunization Plan, Island Health will continue to build on a successful vaccination program that has seen more than 60,000 doses administered in the past several weeks.
This included providing protection for our most vulnerable residents in long-term care and assisted living, over 7,000 members of First Nations communities, and 25,000 health care workers.
Phone lines open March 8, appointments start March 15:
The registration process for B.C.’s first age-based population cohort – Indigenous individuals age 65 and older, along with Elders, and non-indigenous individuals age 90 and older – begins March 8. Appointments made this week will be actively available starting Monday March 15.
80+ registration starts March 15:
After this week Island Health will then move to register the 85-year-old and older population, and then the 80+ population. Island Health plans to have all of these populations vaccinated by April 12.
Take the vaccine you are offered:
At the moment, BC Health policy is to provide a first dose at this time, with a second dose in the period up to 16 weeks following the first dose. This applies to all two-dose vaccine products so far (i.e. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca). The Johnson & Johnson product (approved by Health Canada just a few days ago) is a single-dose vaccine.
The current public health messaging across Canada is to “take the vaccine you are offered” as opposed to requesting a particular brand. This is because the global pandemic continues to rage on (COVID is still a health emergency in BC, and BC is officially in a State of Emergency).
Reducing the number of people who become infected with COVID-19 (i.e. achieving herd immunity) is still a mission critical. Even on this past Friday March 5 there were 634 new cases (a higher daily tally than has been seen in weeks), with 26 of those in Island Health.
Public health administration will keep track of which vaccine each person receives.
How to register:
To register for an appointment, eligible individuals or a representative should call 1-833-348-4787 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.
The call centre agent will:
- Confirm you are in the age group eligible for booking;
- Ask you for:
- Your Legal Name
- Your Date of Birth
- Your Postal code
- Your Personal Health Number (if you have one)
- Your phone number (or phone number for family/support member)
- Your Email (or email for a family/support member)
- Your Postal code
- Your Date of Birth
- Your Legal Name
- The agent will then provide you with information of clinics located in the area where you live and together you will choose an appointment time that works for you;
- The call centre agent will confirm your appointment time and location and you will receive a confirmation by text or email if you’ve provided that contact information.
Whole-community approach for small and remote communities:
Approximately 30 smaller and remote communities without immunization clinics listed at this time will be vaccinated in a whole of community approach. Depending on the size of the community this may result in the entire adult population of the community having the opportunity to be vaccinated during a single visit to the community (in one day or on consecutive days), or over two visits.
For residents age 80 and older who live in these communities, if the whole community approach clinic is not scheduled prior to April 12, Island Health will ensure you have the opportunity to be vaccinated in or close to your community prior to April 12. In that case, contact the Island Health call centre during the week that you are eligible for your age group.
For some communities, this will occur after April 12, however, Island Health will also visit the community before April 12 to provide vaccine to all interested and eligible individuals.
Island Health says it has brought on additional staff to help support the volumes of calls they expect to receive beginning March 8.
“Our teams have done a lot of planning and have prepared for a number of contingencies,” it was stated in an Island Health news release today.