The fight against COVID-19 on Vancouver Island hit a milestone this week as the health authority reached 500,000 residents with at least one dose.
Island Health issued a press release Friday, May 28, saying it had hit the half-a-million mark the day before. The health authority says that at last count it was at 506,000 first-dose vaccinations, meaning 65 per cent or residents age 12 and over have received at least one shot of vaccine.
“As the number of people we vaccinate continues to rise, the level of protection against this virus grows daily,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical health officer, in the release. “Our teams and partners are working hard to get vaccine doses into arms and we should all feel optimistic.”
Vancouver Island’s top 10 most-vaccinated communities https://t.co/QAap0KfJ0b— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) May 27, 2021
The health authority says it is administering approximately 9,000 vaccine doses per day at its community clinics.
More than 9,000 residents and 11,000 staff at 115 seniors’ long-term care and assisted-living facilities are receiving their second doses, says Island Health. Second-dose clinics are also underway in First Nations communities and are being scheduled in 28 rural and remote communities.
Island Health notes as well that its immunization program has reached approximately 55 per cent of people experiencing homelessness on the Island.
“This work involved outreach to shelters, soup kitchens, park encampments and even a laundromat,” the release noted.
The health authority says it has expanded its teams of clinic staff and immunizers. More than 375 volunteers and “hundreds of immunizers from different specialties” are part of the effort.
“We are thankful to everyone who has chosen to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community,” Stanwick said. “We all have a part to play and every dose administered gets us closer to controlling the spread of this virus.”
Any British Columbians 12 years old and up can register now to receive vaccine by visiting www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or calling 1-833-838-2323.