Island Health is adjusting the operation of its COVID-19 mass immunization clinics to focus on getting more kids vaccinated as more people continue to opt for the shot.
Large clinics will be reducing their days and hours of operation to align with local needs now that a high proportion of the population is already protected, the health authority said in a statement Monday.
The remaining clinics and the more than 170 community pharmacies registered to administer COVID-19 shots to those 12 and older, will be enough to meet demand moving forward, Island Health stated. However, clinics will shift their focus to offering the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to those aged five to 11, since they’re not available at pharmacies.
Appointments are required at clinics.
As some larger clinics on the Island reduce their operating days, facilities at the University Heights Shopping Centre in Saanich and Esquimalt’s Archie Browning Sports Centre will close after March 5. Those sites will only be offering COVID-19 vaccines to those aged five to 11 on March 4 and 5.
The revised schedule shows Greater Victoria’s pediatric vaccine clinics will only be open on weekends. A new Victoria clinic will open in Quadra Village at 901 Kings Rd. and will operate during the last three weekends in March.
Some all-ages clinics will continue to be held intermittently in remote communities or areas without participating pharmacies. Island Health also said clinics will also provide appointments for adults seeking non-mRNA vaccines, such as the Medicago and newly-approved Novavax, when they become available in B.C.
As of Monday, 88.7 per cent of people aged five and older in the Island Health jurisdiction have received two doses of vaccine, and 56.7 per cent of those 12 and over also have their booster dose.
A full clinic schedule can be found at islandhealth.ca/covid19vaccine.
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