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Interior Health moving vaccine clinics

COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Interior Health region will be moving from mass immunization clinics to pharmacies and health centres over the coming weeks.

Interior Health (IH) officials said the health authority is doing this to streamline its vaccination campaign, as vaccination rates continue to rise.

People who have not yet received COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, for pediatric doses in children five to 11 years old can get their shot by booking an appointment at local IH clinics.

Those 12 and older can get their vaccine at participating pharmacies in their community.

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“Together with our community partners, we continue to achieve excellent COVID-19 vaccine deployment across the Interior region,” said Susan Brown, Interior Health president and CEO. “We are grateful for their support and will continue to work with them as needed, including the BC Pharmacy Association, to provide access to vaccines.”

IH officials said people of all eligible ages in rural and remote communities will continue to have access to vaccinations through pop-up clinics.

The decision to move vaccination efforts to pharmacies and health centres comes as 91 per cent of B.C. residents have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 86 per cent have received two.

“During this transition, it’s still important for people to continue to get these vaccines when they are eligible,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, interim chief medical health officer. “This means getting younger age groups their primary series of the vaccine or the booster doses for people age 12 and older to strengthen and maintain their immunity. These steps will reduce the spread of the virus in our communities and disruptions to our lives as a consequence. Most importantly, these vaccines are highly effective against severe disease and hospitalization.”

IH staff said children become eligible for vaccination on their fifth birthday, and parents or guardians can register them for an appointment as soon as they’re old enough.

People aged 12 and older can receive their first or second dose by dropping in at an IH clinic.

Appointments for booster shots can be booked six months after your second dose. IH officials said an invitation will be sent out to book your appointment once you can get a booster shot.

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