As vaccination against the pandemic ramps up, a weekend announcement from Fraser Health stated Hope officially has two COVID-19 vaccination sites.
According to an announcement on Sunday (March 7) from Fraser Health, The Hope COVID-19 Testing and Immunization Centre at Fraser Canyon Hospital and Hope Public Health Office are among 22 COVID vaccine clinics in the Fraser Health area.
Who can book
Appointments for seniors age 90 and up and First Nations elders and First Nations people aged 65 and up could begin booking their vaccine appointments beginning Monday, March 8. The first shots will be administered beginning March 15; Fraser Health said on Sunday about 14,500 people are eligible for vaccines.
Fraser Health CEO Dr. Victoria Lee said about 30 per cent of seniors aged 80 and up have been vaccinated in long-term care homes. In the Hope area,
Local clinics and hours
As of Monday, Hope has two vaccine clinics, neither of which are drive-thru.
The Hope Public Health Office is located at 444 Park Street and is open Monday through Friday 9:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Hope COVID-19 Testing and Immunization Centre at Fraser Canyon Hospital is at 1275 7th Avenue. Their hours are Monday through Friday 12:10 p.m. to 2 p.m.
How to book
Those eligible can book online 24/7 at www.fraserhealth.ca/vaccinebooking. To book via phone, seniors or someone acting on their behalf may call 1-855-755-2455 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST.
Mayor Robb advocated for Hope vaccine plan
Roughly a week before the weekend announcement, Hope Mayor Peter Robb voiced concerns about the possible need to travel to get vaccinated. His letter was read during a March 1 question period at the B.C. Legislature.
Leader of the Official Opposition Shirley Bond (Prince George-Valemont) called upon Horgan to address concerns about COVID-19 vaccine administration, particularly in small, rural communities like Hope.
“Just recently, in fact, less than a week ago, the mayor of Hope expressed some very significant concerns, and let me quote for the premiere what he wrote,” Bond said. “’We were told that the direction from the Ministry of Health is not to have clinics in our community. Logistically, how is this going to work? It makes no sense. This plan is wrong on so many levels and needs to be re-thought to include clinics in our communities. Smaller towns and villages are under enough COVID stress without adding another layer.’”
Robb went on to say Hope has buildings with ample space available to properly carry out vaccination clinics such as the ice arena, curling club and the Royal Canadian Legion. Bond asked Horgan to guarantee elderly in smaller communities including Hope will not be required to leave their communities to get vaccinated.
Horgan said seeing how the first phase of vaccine rollouts went, which reached among the most remote communities in the northern part of the province, he is confident small, rural communities like Hope would be addressed just as successfully.
“I have every expectation that the residents of Hope, particularly in phase 2 when we’ve got those born before 1931, will not have to travel to get immunized,” Horgan replied. “Part of our success in phase 1 was the mobile teams to go to communities, and I have every expectation that that’s the case.”
– With files from Katya Slepian