(File photo)
Northern Health has expanded clinic hours as new COVID cases surge in B.C. (File photo)

(File photo) Northern Health has expanded clinic hours as new COVID cases surge in B.C. (File photo)

Northern Health expands COVID-19 vaccination clinic hours

The health authority has added Fridays to its Smithers clinic schedule for the remainder of January

Northern Health has added an additional three days to its Smithers COVID-19 clinic hours for January.

The clinic, located at the Dze L K’ant Community Hall on Third Avenue, will now be open Jan. 11-14, 18-21 and 25-28 for drop-ins for first and second doses for those aged 12 and older. Clinic hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

It is also open this afternoon (Jan. 7) from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

For parents seeking vaccines for their children aged five to 11 and adults wishing to get their booster shots, appointments are required.

Appointments are also available at some pharmacies including Shoppers Drug Mart on Main Street in Smithers.

The expansion of clinic hours comes as new COVID cases are surging dramatically in B.C.

READ MORE: New COVID-19 cases skyrocket in Smithers Local Health Area

Over the New Year’s weekend, the province reported more than 9,000 new cases. In the Smithers Local Health Area (Houston to Witset) between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1 (the latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control reporting period), new cases jumped by more than 100 to 159.

The Smithers LHA consists of three Community Health Service Areas (CHSA), Smithers Town Centre, Smithers Rural and Houston.

According to a Jan. 5 Northern Health Community Immunization Coverage report, 83 per cent of the 12 and older population in Smithers Town Centre have received two doses and 21 per cent have had their third shot.

For Smithers Rural, the coverage is 72 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

In Houston, 74 per cent have two doses and 14 per cent have received their booster shot.

This week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry encouraged everyone, including people who have had COVID-19 to continue to get vaccinated.

READ MORE: Omicron causes ‘enormous’ caseload, but severe illness not rising at same rate: Tam

“When you are feeling better and recovered from that infection, then you can get your booster dose and we do encourage you to get your booster dose,” she said at a news conference on Jan 4.

Evidence suggests that while contracting the disease boosts immune response, vaccines are better at targeting what is called the spike protein in the virus.

The spike protein is the part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that allows it to enter human cells.

People can visit getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or call 1-833-838-2323 to register to get vaccinated and book an appointment.


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