The official list of COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Island Health region has been announced for Phase 2 of the province’s immunization plan.
18 locations have been listed on the health authority’s website for vaccinations beginning March 15th, with an additional one beginning March 30th.
Larger clinics which Island Health is referring to as “mass clinics” include the McKinnon Gym at the University of Victoria, the Archie Browning Sports Center in Esquimalt, Eagle Ridge Arena in Langford, the Cowichan Community Center gym in Duncan, Beban Park in Nanaimo and the Parksville Community Center.
For smaller communities, the health authority says it will be pursuing a “whole community” approach, where they visit more remote areas or towns on specific dates.
Smaller communities that will be offered “whole community” clinics include places like Port Hardy, Tofino, Gabriola Island and Port Renfrew.
Beginning Monday, March 8th, the first round of public appointment registration will open, with non-Indigenous seniors aged 90 and over and Indigenous seniors aged 65 and over eligible.
The following week, seniors aged 85 and over will be able to register, and the week after that, seniors aged 80 and over.
Registration is done over the phone by calling 1-833-348-4787, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. Eligible vaccination recipients will need to provide their:
- Legal first and last name
- Date of birth
- Postal code
- Personal health number (aka: care card)
- Contact information (direct phone number or support person phone number)
Postal code information will be used to determine the closest clinic to the caller.
Health officials say they are prepared for possible issues with the call center but are confident they will be able to adjust any problems.
“We have over 50 agents ready to start working on Monday morning,” said Victoria Schmid, Vice-President, Pandemic Planning of Island Health.
“The minute we start to see long wait times for people, the team will be huddling on that and trying to rectify those situations. We also have internal staff that we’re able to mobilize and support the call center.”
She added that clinics should be able to deliver 12 vaccinations per hour, per vaccine station, with 15 to 20 stations at each mass vaccination clinic.
The clinic at UVic, for example, has an estimated capacity of 1,410 appointments in its first week.
Officials also said that they are working from a good rate of vaccination of targeted populations as the province moves into immunizing the general public.
“The announcements we’re giving right now just really provide me such a sense of hope,” said Dr. Mike Benusic, Physician Lead of Mass Immunization Operations.
“The fact is that right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number skyrocket in the next few weeks and months.”
The health authority is hoping to offer the vaccination to all Indigenous people over 65 and all non-indigenous people over 80 by April 12th. They estimate this will include approximately 40,000 individuals.
Here are some of the mass vaccination clinic locations across Vancouver Island:
- Victoria – University of Victoria – McKinnon Building (11 Gabriola Road)
- Langford – Eagle Ridge Arena (1089 Langford Parkway)
- Esquimalt – Archie Browning Sports Centre (1151 Esquimalt Road)
- Sidney – Mary Winspear Centre (2243 Beacon Avenue)
- Sooke – Seaparc Leisure Complex (2168 Phillips Road)
- Sooke – Sooke Health Unit (104 – 6672 Wadams Way)
- Campbell River – Campbell River Community Centre (401 11 Avenue)
- Comox – CFB Comox – Glacier Gardens Arena (1399 Military Row)
- Duncan – Cowichan Community Centre (2687 James Street)
- Nanaimo – Beban Park (2300 Bowen Road)
- Nanaimo – Cedar Community Hall (2388 Cedar Road)
- Port Alberni – Alberni Athletic Hall (3727 Roger Street)
- Port Hardy – Port Hardy Health Unit (7070 Market Street)
- Port McNeill – Port McNeill Health Unit (1775 Grenville Place)
- Salt Spring Island – Salt Spring Island Health Unit (160 Fulford-Ganges Road)
- Tofino – Tofino Public Health Unit (265 First Street)
Detailed information on clinic locations within Island Health and a link to registration information can be found at covid19.islandclinics.ca.