Loading articles...

Fraser Health ramp up neighbourhood vaccine clinics

Last Updated Aug 1, 2021 at 1:42 pm PDT

Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Several pop-up vaccine clinics are opening this week as B.C. shifts its focus away from mass COVID-19 clinics and into smaller ones in neighbourhoods where vaccine rates remain low.

Neighbourhoods include Abbotsford Agrifair opening Sunday, Centennial Beach on Wednesday, and the Coquitlam Cineplex on Friday.

Christine Mackie with the Fraser Health Authority says it’s all about convenience.

‘We’re making sure that we go to places where people frequent … might not have gotten themselves organized to get into a clinic to book an appointment but we make it easy. They can just come by.”

No appointment is needed at any of the neighbourhood clinics.

This is part of the province’s “Vax for B.C.” campaign– which aims to get shots into the arms of the last 20 per cent of British Columbians.

“We’re managing to deliver some first doses, as well as second doses and it’s just really important to us to just be that resource for our community,” Mackie says.

However, some people say that even registration isn’t required, it may take more to convince the anti-vaxxers.

One man from Delta — who wants to remain anonymous — says he’s unvaccinated and a drop-in clinic won’t work.

“It definitely takes a lot more than just potentially being able to do it on a whim,” he says.

“Many people who are deciding to avoid vaccine for now probably have not come to that decision lightly.”

Dr. Brian Conway with the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre admits the province may need to consider other strategies.

“I think there’s another 10 per cent that we can reach through some types of outreach programs,” he tells NEWS 1130.

He suggests focusing on certain locations since pop-up clinics at beaches or popular attractions will only address some of the unvaccinated people, “but not all.”

“Going door-to-door in the single room occupancy dwellings of the individuals of the Downtown Eastside and elsewhere, where we know that 30 to 40 per cent those buildings remain unvaccinated.”

About one in five British Columbians remain unvaccinated.