As British Columbia works toward reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian is urging those who have yet to be vaccinated to sign up for their turn to get the jab.
“The vaccines are the solution,” he said.
During Tuesday’s (June 1) city council meeting, Christian said reopening plans announced last week by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are “good news,” including conversations at city hall to reopen sports fields and return council meetings to chambers.
Christian said his concern, however, is that with plans to reopen underway, the general public will think the pandemic is over. That is not the case, he said, noting the potential for another wave in the fall if enough of the population does not get vaccinated.
Christian said as of last week, 45,000 people in Kamloops had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 1,200 people had received a second dose.
“Big number, but not enough,” Christian said. “We need more and we need to ensure that those individuals, particularly in the 20- to 40-age bracket, are encouraged to register, to book an appointment and to get vaccinated.”
Christian said he told Interior Health last week he believes there is a five-week window during which people will continue to be focused on the pandemic as the public health orders loosen. He said Interior Health has capacity to immunize 1,500 people per day and, if that many people are immunized daily over the next five weeks, the community will be closer toward herd immunity.
“We need to push,” Christian said.
For a list of all Interior Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics and other resources, click here.