VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver prepares to become a mass vaccination site, it is already turning away some people who are showing up too early.
Mario Miceli, executive director of the centre better known to locals as Il Centro, says vaccinations aren’t starting there until March 22.
“I think everybody’s just anxious. They want to get this thing going. We had a lot of calls on Monday because we were in the media on Sunday, so a lot of phone calls to our office. A lot of drop-ins when they couldn’t get through on Monday,” he tells NEWS 1130.
But those being turned away are not leaving empty-handed.
“We put together a little slip that we hand people that is the information from [Vancouver] Coastal Health. They have to follow the procedure that we put together and what we’ve done is we’ve translated it into Italian for people who come to the Italian Cultural Centre who may not speak the language.”
Miceli adds he’s also been impressed with how fast Vancouver Coastal Health has been able to coordinate the mass rollout, so a banquet hall normally used to host weddings can be turned into an immunization clinic.
.@mariomiceli13 also tells @NEWS1130 staff @IlCentroVan have been handing out an information card written in English on the front and Italian on the back.
He's also praising @VCHhealthcare staff for turning a banquet hall that normally hosts weddings into a vaccine clinic.
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) March 11, 2021
On Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced people 85 and older in B.C. can start booking their COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Thursday — which is ahead of schedule.