Prince Rupert and Port Edward residents will eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in a community based special program starting March 15, Northern health announced on March 9. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Prince Rupert and Port Edward residents will eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in a community based special program starting March 15, Northern health announced on March 9. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Prince Rupert and Port Ed to receive COVID-19 vaccinations starting March 15

UPDATED: A phone line dedicated to Prince Rupert area bookings has been issued

The phone number dedicated to Prince Rupert area residents to book COVID-19 appointments has been issued on March 10 and is: 1-866-481-2175. Calls should be made according to the released schedule, Northern Health stated. The phone number is not the same one that the provincial vaccination program uses.

COVID-19 vaccinations will be made available to all of Prince Rupert and Port Edward due to the recent high transmission rate of the pandemic virus, Northern Health announced on March 9.

The community approach and expanded eligibility is a joint effort between Northern Health, the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer who have jointly approved immunizing residents of the city and local area for COVID-19, as the community continues to see transmission, clusters and outbreaks of the virus.

“Prince Rupert has a high COVID-19 case rate and high positivity rate, that has not seen the improvements in recent weeks that are occurring elsewhere in the region,” Dr. Jong Kim, Northern Health chief medical health officer said in a media release. “Quickly vaccinating the entire community is a great way to protect everyone in Prince Rupert, and keep them safe.”

Beginning March 12, residents of Prince Rupert and Port Edward can call a dedicated number to book an appointment for COVID-19 immunization, at clinics that will begin on March 15 through to April 1, 2021.

The dedicated phone number for Prince Rupert residents to begin calling on March 12, will be made available soon, Eryn Collins communications manager for Northern Health told The Northern View.

Collins said she wanted to be clear and have residents understand that the phone number for Prince Rupert will be different from the previously issued provincial call center for booking appointments.

If residents have already called through the provincial line to book appointments, they will receive a call with new directions for immunizations, she said.

“The Prince Rupert-specific vaccine appointment call centre expects to have high call volumes, and we appreciate resident’s patience. If it’s not your turn yet, please do not call in to book an appointment. Everyone who is eligible to book a vaccination appointment will be able to do so, and once you become eligible, you are always eligible,” Collins said.

The vaccinations will happen in groups, with older residents being vaccinated first. All Prince Rupert residents must phone ahead, to book an appointment, according to the following schedule:

65-90+ years, call to book on March 12-13 for immunization between March 15-20

50-64 years, call to book on March 14-15 for immunization between March 22-27

40-49 years, call to book on March 16-17 for immunization between March 22-27

18-39 years, call to book on March 18-19 for immunization between March 29-April 1

Immunization clinics for Prince Rupert and Port Edward residents will be held at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

“Northern Health is also continuing to immunize people living and working in independent living centres and seniors supportive housing, as well as long-term home support clients and staff – and is reaching out directly to those groups to arrange vaccine appointments,” the press release reads. “Patients and staff (not already immunized in Phase 1) at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, will also receive the COVID-19 vaccine over the coming three weeks.”

For more details on Phase 2 COVID-19 plans across the NH region, including community-specific appointment booking eligibilities and clinic locations, visit the Northern Health COVID-19 Vaccine Plan web page.

K-J Millar | Journalist 
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