Teenagers lined up outside the health unit in downtown Prince Rupert on May 31, at the first COVID-19 vaccination youth drop-in clinic. The lineup started an hour before the doors opened.
The next clinic runs on June 3, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. for youth ages 12 to 17 years. Youth can just stop in at the clinic with their care card information to receive an injection.
More than 125 immunizations were administered in half the time of a normal clinic day on Monday, Julia Pemberton, health services administrator in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii, said.
“Yesterday we saw an exceptional turn out for our youth clinic,” Pemberton said.
Some youth were immunized last week if their parents or guardians had vaccination appointments.
High school student Chantelle Vera was at the clinic of her own volition and was eager to get to the vaccination.
“I came to take the vaccine today because after seeing the numbers of COVID victims go up and up, I could only imagine the losses families here and around the world have suffered due to the pandemic,” she said. “I’ve lost a family member to this virus and hearing the experiences people have had with COVID, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
Vera said she wants to help reduce the numbers and protect her family and those around her
“If taking a small needle can make a huge difference, then count me in,” the teen said.
She said she is sure everyone wants the pandemic to end so they are able to do fun activities with family and friends again.
“To make a change, we all have to come together and do our best to fight against COVID-19. I suggest taking action by getting vaccinated, continue to social distance, and be safe,” Vera said.
Pemberton said she is thrilled to see the community of Prince Rupert show up and do their part in beating COVID-19.
“Our second dose mass community clinic is fully booked for the first week and we are looking to see how we can open more appointments to meet the need,” she said of the adult vaccination clinics starting June 14, in the city.
“At this rate the community has the potential to be fully vaccinated before the July 1st holiday putting Prince Rupert ahead of the provincial re-opening targets.”
Pemberton said the community is ahead of the 16-week second dose interval with most appointments being completed closer to the 12-week mark.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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