Island Health and its partners are celebrating a milestone after surpassing one million COVID-19 doses into the arms of residents.
“With every dose given, our communities are fortifying our collective resilience against this virus and based on the rates of transmission and hospitalizations in Island Health, it’s clearly working,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical health officer.
“Without the Herculean efforts of our immunization staff and the many supporting teams, as well as our community partners, we would not have been as successful. This is truly a team effort in every sense of the word.”
Over 90 per cent of residents 70 and older have received at least one dose, in addition to 84 per cent of those age 50–69 and 71 per cent of residents 30–49, according to Island Health. Just under two thirds of eligible people between 12 and 29 have at least their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Island Health’s COVID-19 immunization campaign began on Dec. 22 last year, with a focus on immunizing frontline staff and its most vulnerable residents. Seven months later, 78 per cent of people 12 and older have received one dose, and 48 per cent are fully vaccinated in the Island Health region.
Island Health said its mass immunization clinics will continue to deliver first and second doses over the summer, while easy access and mobile clinics will focus on ensuring everyone has an opportunity to get vaccinated.
In collaboration with First Nations and First Nations Health Authority, more than 21,000 people in around 50 First Nations communities have received at least one dose, including rural and remote, as well as urban First Nations communities.
Over 1,000 outreach clinics have been held, including in care homes, at whole community clinics, in Indigenous communities, outreach to underserved populations and independent living environments, according to Island Health.