The Campbell River Community Centre is set up and ready to welcome the public for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Monday, March 15.
Island Health employees from the Campbell River area have been tasked with running the vaccination clinic and the Community Centre gym has been set up to allow people to flow through the clinic smoothly. Entrance will be gained from a covered area on the side of the Community Centre facing the Legion. People will then be directed to a table where an Island Health employee will administer the vaccination. From there people will be directed to another area in the gym where they will wait for a few minutes to monitor for any reaction to the vaccine. Then they will exit the gymnasium.
Stacey Chow, Island Health North Island Public Programs clinical coordinator, said based on the 90-plus population in Campbell River, they will be starting with three stations on Monday, although they have 10 stations available.
“Three stations, immunizing every five minutes from nine until four, so, seven hours, gives us 252 doses a day,” Chow said. “We have the flexibility to adjust as the population ranges change.”
But given that a lot of vaccinations have been administered in care homes and other facilities for the community’s eldest members, Chow speculated that a large portion of them have already received the vaccines. The clinic will then be employed to administer vaccines to the rest of the population as the province enters the next phases of its immunization program
Chow said that the clinic is not a start-from-scratch effort. A lot of the procedures are adapted from the regular flu clinics that Island Health conducts. One of the reasons the Community Centre was chose to host the vaccine clinic was because it has been used for flu clinics. Also, the existing vaccination clinic at the Campbell river hospital has been up and running for some time now.
The province’s COVID-19 vaccination program is currently in Phase 2 which involves people born in 1936 or earlier (and are 85+) or Indigenous and born in 1956 or earlier (and are 65+). People born in 1941 or earlier (and are 80+), can begin booking their appointments in the week of March 22.
British Columbians will register and book their appointments through an online registration tool. Details about registering for Phase 3 and 4 will be available in the coming weeks about when and how to pre-register.
The BC Centre for Disease Control has some suggestions on their website about what to expect when you get the vaccine:
- Wear a mask to the clinic and bring your Personal Health Number if you have one.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing for easy access to the arm. The vaccine is given by injection into the muscle of the arm, in the shoulder area.
- The COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses. It is important to get both doses for long-term protection. See below for more information about getting the second dose.
- Expect to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after you receive your vaccine so you can be monitored. About one in 1 million people will experience a severe allergic reaction. By staying in the clinic, a health care provider can respond in the event this happens. Tell a health care provider if you feel unwell after your vaccine.
- Most people will receive an immunization record. Keep your record of immunization as it contains important information about the date and type of vaccine you receive. Bring your immunization card with you when you get your second dose. Some people in the first priority group had this information entered directly into the provincial registry.
- You will also have the option to receive a digital copy of your immunization record card. By registering for Health Gateway, you will be able to access your digital record.