Three COVID-19 vaccination clinics are set to open in the next few weeks in the Central Okanagan.
The first, at Kelowna’s Trinity Church, will open on March 15 and will operate seven days a week. Another will open once a week at Kelowna Health Services Centre beginning March 17, and a West Kelowna clinic will open in a to-be-determined location on March 22. The three are among 48 set to open over the next few weeks across Interior Health. A full list of clinics is available on the health authority’s website.
To prevent a system overload, the health authority will be booking appointments with a staggered approach.
Beginning Monday (March 8), seniors over 90 and Indigenous people over 65 can book an appointment for their first dose of the vaccine through Interior Health’s call centre (1-877-740-7747). On March 15, that will expand to those over 85 and on March 22 to those over 80. The call centre will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
After a person becomes eligible for the vaccine, they can book an appointment anytime. People looking to book an appointment can do so themselves or have another person book the appointment on their behalf.
Callers are asked to have on hand their legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number and current contact information, including a regularly-checked email address for booking confirmation.
While the area currently only has three clinics planned, Interior Health said the locations would be adjusted according to need.
IH will contact individuals when their second dose is due, after about four months, allowing them to make another appointment.
Those who are vaccinated in the next few weeks will still need to follow currently in-place health orders. IH medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said in the coming months, he hopes visitation can increase.
“At this stage, the provincial health officer’s orders are still in place,” de Villiers said. “Even if you’ve got your vaccine, you should still follow all those orders.”
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