Tara FitzGerald

Vaccinations start in Campbell River

The arrival of an additional 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine allowed Island Health to vaccinate health care workers in North and Central Vancouver Island. The vaccinations started in Campbell River.

Photo of Pfizer vaccine courtesy Island Health

Vaccinations started

“Today is important because we need to get as many shots around Canada as possible, to slow this down,” said Lynn Wurz, a volunteer for baby clinics and the hospital thrift shop in Campbell River.

She added, “I think our grandchildren should record this somehow. Take pictures of everybody in masks, around town.” 

vaccinations started in Campbell River
Screenshot of interview from Campbell River Vaccine Clinic B-Roll 01/07/21 – courtesy Island Health

“We’ve been hoping for this day since the spring when the pandemic started and preparing for it since the summer. The public health nurses and leaders have been working so hard … So it is really incredible to be here today … getting to administer vaccines and saving lives,” said Tara FitzGerald, the Director of Public Health with Island Health.

North Vancouver Island Health Service Delivery Area
North Vancouver Island Health Service Delivery Area – courtesy Government of BC

“It is a pretty emotional day for everybody. The public health teams have been working in extraordinary times, putting out an outstanding effort. It is amazing to see from COVID testing and collection, to contact tracing and case management to now vaccine administration … The accomplishments that our public health nurses, teams and leaders have made are truly awe inspiring.”

FitzGerald stressed the manner in which COVID impacted everyones lives and families. 

On a personal level, she said “my daughter’s great grandmother was in hospital when the visitor restrictions began.”

vaccinations started in Campbell River
Screenshot from Campbell River Vaccine Clinic B-Roll 01/07/21 – courtesy Island Health

First Nations vaccines begin

“My family has ties to the Snuneymuxw First Nation [in the Greater Nanaimo area] and yesterday our public health program was able to administer vaccines,” said FitzGerald. 

According to acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon MacDonald, 191 First Nations members in Island Health have tested positive since the pandemic began. 

Four were on Cortes Island, where the Klahoose Nation received 60 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week. 

Vaccine administrered in Nanaimo
Photo from Nanaimo clinic – courtesy Island Health

Vancouver Island Statistics

According to the Island Health COVID dashboard, there are now 152 active COVID cases on Vancouver Island, 26 of which are in North Vancouver Island.

The BC Centre for Disease control released statics for the number of new cases in North Vancouver Island during December.* There were 37 in the Comox Valley Health Area,18 in the Greater Campbell River area, 12 in North Island and 2 in West Island. 

vaccinations started in Campbell River
Screenshot of one way traffic at Campbell River Vaccine Clinic B-Roll 01/07/21 – courtesy Island Health

*The number of new cases was obtained by subtracting aggregate counts for November from December.

Links of interest

Top photo credit: Screenshot of Tara FitzGerald, Director of Public Health with Island Health from Campbell River Vaccine Clinic B-Roll 01/07/21 – courtesy Island Health

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

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