COVID-19 vaccinations are progressing quickly at Coast Mountain College in Smithers.
“We are averaging about 130 people per day,” said Bart Newman, team leader for community health, on April 1.
“Overall we are very happy at the progress.”
The set up is very efficient. They have a screening table outside to get information, an intake person directly inside the college to register health numbers and information, a large room with community nurses processing information, others administering shots, supervisors and helpers, and another large room across the hall where people rest following their shots and are observed for adverse reactions.
It’s working like a well-oiled machine, and it’s a happy place to be according to those working there.
“I haven’t seen anyone in a year so this is a reunion, get caught up, and to feel like I am helping my community,” said volunteer Robbie McKnight. “I really feel good about helping here.”
According to Newman, they have been administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Smithers, as the hospital here has the facilities to keep the vaccines cold enough (-70C).
“We are pleased with the whole process so far,” Newman said. Once we got going, it has been smooth, with no one experiencing any problems with the vaccine that we are aware of. People have been very grateful to receive their shots. People laugh, cry with relief, tell us their plans to reunite with family, it’s just a very grateful, happy atmosphere to work in after a very long and tough year for all of us.”
As of Tuesday (April 6) the Smithers clinic was accepting appointments from all community members born in or before 1951 (70 years and older) and Indigenous people 18+. Some front line workers and immunocrompised persons are also eligible. Check the Northern Health website for eligibility as it is changing almost daily.