As COVID-19 cases rise in British Columbia, the province will offer more convenient ways for people to get vaccinated. On Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C.’s health minister, Adrian Dix, held a press conference, during which several initiatives were unveiled to make it easier to get vaccinated: community events, vax vans, walk-in-Wednesdays and mobile clinics. Interior Health residents can drop-in to any immunization clinic for a first or second dose, provided they are 49 days from the date they received their first dose.
Over the weekend, B.C. reported 276 new COVID-19 cases, including 155 in Interior Health.
Henry said current case counts, hospitalizations and deaths are linked to people who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. As of July 26, 81 per cent of people ages 12 and older in British Columbia (3,736,651 people) are vaccinated with their first dose and 61 per cent (2,840,194 people) are fully vaccinated, with a second dose. On Tuesday, Interior Health announced that it had surpassed administration of one million doses in the health authority.
BC Centre of Disease Control data indicates less than five per cent of COVID-19 cases from June 15 to July 15 were among fully vaccinated people. Meanwhile, 78 per cent of people hospitalized during that time period unvaccinated.
“These next two weeks are crucial to our immunization campaign,” Henry said.
Dix reiterated on Tuesday vaccines will not be made mandatory in British Columbia. However, he noted future measures are not out of the question and Henry noted “consequences,” for those who do not get the jab, including some workers required to take additional measures.
In addition to regional events encouraging walk-in immunizations, the province will hold a provincewide Walk-In Wednesday event on Aug. 4, after B.C. Day long weekend, at clinics throughout B.C.
The province also continues to encourage people to book vaccinations online.