John Horgan, Premier of B.C. praises the efforts of Prince Rupert with the success of the community-wide COVID-19 vaccination clinic in his briefing on March 24. (Photo: supplied)

Prince Rupert has reached 85% COVID vaccination mark

Prince Rupert’s attitude is needed across the province, Premier said

Prince Rupert was praised by the leader of the province on March 24 with the efforts of city residents and neighbouring Port Edward being lauded for the high turnout during the community-wide COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

The community-whole approach which ran from March 14 to March 21 bound the spirits of more than 400 volunteers making the immunization of 85 per cent of the eligible population a success, during the campaign in which just less than 10,000 were vaccinated. With the assistance of the Centre for Disease Control sending medical staff to support local nurses the Northern Health facilitated clinic was able to wrap up in just over a week, instead of the originally planned two weeks.

READ MORE: Community COVID-19 clinic expects to administer up to 10,000 doses

Premier John Horgan said in his daily briefing that the actions of those in Prince Rupert will need to be emulated throughout the province in the upcoming weeks with more community vaccination clinics in the works.

“You can see from people in Rupert, in the environment, talking about how proud they are of the work of the community to step up. And that’s the attitude we’re going to need in communities right across British Columbia as we go through the next number of weeks.”

“There’s euphoria in the town that has been in dread, quite frankly, over the past number of weeks,” Premier John Horgan said.

Horgan said that earlier in the day he had spoken with Jennifer Rice MLA for the North Coast, who is also parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness.

“She knows firsthand the impact that emergencies and crises can have on the fibre of a community,” Horgan said. |

“And of course, in Prince Rupert, we had months and months and months of no cases, no evidence of COVID-19 whatsoever, but in recent weeks, we’ve seen the increase in caseloads – in fact, a startling increase that led Dr. Henry and Dr. Ballem to make the decision to immunize the entire community of Prince Rupert and Port Edward. That means somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10,000 people were in line to get vaccinated.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Prince Rupert had only 16 cumulative cases of confirmed COVID-19 to Dec. 31. Numbers increased significantly in the past three months with an outbreak at Acropolis Manor the city’s long-term health care facility and seniors home taking the lives of 16 and infecting 56 staff and residents. Community transmissions increased leading some businesses to close and the emergency shelter to reduce hours.

READ MORE: Local leadership praises the spirit of volunteerism at Prince Rupert community vaccine clinic


K-J Millar | Journalist
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