As cases continue to rise across B.C., health officials are urging anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated to do so.
In Smithers, Northern Health is operating its Vaccine2You mobile clinic at Bovill Square today (July 5) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the clinic at Coast Mountain College will open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
According to the province, anyone age 12 and older is eligible for their first shot, while anyone who got their first dose before June 16 can get their second. People getting their second dose are asked to bring their immunization cards.
Again, anyone eligible for first or second shots may drop in to any one of these clinics.
All vaccine clinics in B.C. will be offering walk-in appointments for either Pfizer or Moderna. There is no need to register beforehand.
B.C. recorded 742 cases and one death over the long weekend, a marked increase from even two weeks ago. The average number of cases over the long weekend – four reporting periods – was 186 cases. For the weekend starting on July 16, there were an average of 52 cases each day.
Vaccines, which health officials and experts say remain the best way to keep cases down, have also risen. On July 19, 79.9 per cent of people had their first dose and 53.2 per cent of people had their second dose. As of Tuesday, 81.4 per cent had their first dose and 67.3 per cent had their second.
The Smithers Local Health Area is lagging way behind those provincial averages. As of Aug. 2, first dose coverage sat at 67 per cent and second doses at 54 per cent.
Research by an independent modelling group shows that increasing the first-dose vaccination rate in a community from 70 per cent to 90 per cent can decrease cases five-fold.
And while the vaccines do not provide 100 per cent immunity, fully vaccinated persons are 10 times less likely to acquire and transmit the virus and tend to have much milder symptoms if they do catch it.
-With files from Thom Barker