A pharmacist prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at a pharmacy prototype clinic in Halifax on March 9, 2021. The CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Fernie Memorial Arena to be mass vaccination clinic

IH will be setting up the arena for use between April and September

Interior Health (IH) is going to set up a mass vaccination clinic at the Fernie Memorial Arena.

“The City will be providing use of the Arena facility for immunizations over the months of April – September,” said a City of Fernie press release.

“The Arena location was selected based on parking capacity, wheelchair access, and square footage. Interior Health will begin set up for the clinic the week of April 5th, 2021.”

Immunizations at the arena are estimated to begin from April 12.

Regular operations at the arena will be disrupted while the arena is used as a mass vaccination clinic.

Vaccination bookings for seniors born in or before 1931, and Indigenous people born in or before 1956 have been open since Monday March 8 – though the booking process has run into snags with long wait times.

As of earlier this week, bookings have opening for the next bracket of seniors as part of Phase 2 of the immunization roll-out, with provincial health authorities moving the booking schedule up since originally reported.

As of the week of Mar 15 to Mar 19, Interior Health has been opening up elegibility on a day-by-day basis. By today, bookings will be open to those aged 81 and over (born in or before 1940), while tomorrow (Friday, Mar 19), bookings will be opened to those aged 80 and over (born in or before 1941).

Those that are eligible to book a vaccination appointment can call 1-877-740-7747. Only those eligible are asked to call to avoid clogging the system. Phase 3 of the program (for those aged between 79 and 60) was originally slated to begin next month, while Phase 4 (those between 59 and 18) will begin in July and run through to September.

Last week, Interior Health announced that it would be opening up 49 immunization locations throughout the health area. The Fernie Memorial Arena clinic is in addition to those already reported. Fernie has a clinic that is planned to open on Monday March 15, as do Elkford and Sparwood. Vaccinations will begin in earnest on Monday.

READ MORE: Community groups seek CBT funds through Community Initiatives program



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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