Tuesday August 17, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
It was a hot weekend, but that didn’t stop about 120 people coming out to get a COVID vaccination shot in the parking lot outside Canadian Tire in Langford.
The two-day visit by the Island Health Vax Van ran August 14 and 15, from 11 am to 4 pm each day. On day one 67 COVID vaccine injections were done, and by 2 pm on Sunday another 51 had been done.
Saturday was a bit smoky (due to wildfire smoke that had drifted in from the BC Interior) but Sunday the skies were more clear and the heat wave that started earlier in the week was almost done.
The mobile clinic was attended by Kaylee Gray, Manager, Logistics Pandemic Response, Island Health and by Austin Lee, Site Manager, Red Cross.
Getting the shot:
People who showed up were a range of ages. The idea was that it be convenient, easy, and relaxed.
Both first and second doses of COVID vaccine were administered. Anyone who lives in BC could get a shot. Nurses answered any questions people might have had about getting the COVID vaccine injection.
After receiving an injection, people waited for 15 minutes under an awning, just in case they might have a reaction to the shot.
Running the clinic:
The Vax Van has a designated driver, who relocates the necessary equipment to each new site. Island Health personnel arrive separately. On Sunday there were three nurses, four other Island Health staff, and four Red Cross personnel.
Red Cross was on site for non-clinical things like setup, registration of people checking in for shots, and monitoring the vaccine beneficiaires after their injections.
Registration at the Vax Van sites generally only requires a Personal Health Number, or other sort of official identification.
BC presently has a vaccination rate of 82.6% people age 12+ who have received a first dose of COVID vaccine, and 73.2% of the age 12+ population is fully vaccinated (by getting their second dose).
Interval between shots:
The currently allowed interval between first and second doses is 28 days (reduced from various longer periods), so that as many people as possible can be fully vaccinated before back-to-school and return-to-campus in September.
Many businesses and events are requiring vaccination, ideally both shots. Federal employees have recently been mandated to get two doses.
Teachers in BC are hoping for the mandated use of masks in classrooms, come September.
Vaccines in the fourth wave:
BC is experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID pandemic, due largely to the Delta variant being so easily transmissible. As learned from whole genome sequencing done by the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Delta variant has completely surpassed the earlier three variants (alpha, beta, gamma) and is causing almost all the new COVID infections since the last week of July in BC.
As of August 16, there are 5,090 active COVID cases in BC (307 in Island Health), with 104 people in hospital (seven in Island Health) of which 47 are in ICU (four in Island Health).
Island Health has administered 1,205,188 doses of COVID vaccine as of August 16, with 569,339 of those being second doses.
Vaccines administered in BC are mostly the mRNA type (Pfizer-BionTech, Moderna) and less so now the viral vector type (AstraZeneca). All three types have been approved by Health Canada.
On Vancouver Island, 72.6% of vaccine doses administered so far have been Pfizer, with 24.6% being Moderna, and about 2.7% AstraZeneca.
===== OTHER VAX VAN ARTICLES:
Vax Van in Langford on smoky Saturday Aug 14 (August 14, 2021)
Vax Van at local stadium: prelude to Aug 4 Drop-In Wednesday (August 2, 2021)
Vax Van at Pacific FC home game in Langford July 30 (July 29, 2021)