A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19 vaccinations well underway in Cranbrook

Approximately 8,609 total doses have been administered in the Cranbrook area: Interior Health

As COVID-19 vaccinations have been underway through various programs targeting long-term care homes, essential workers and rural and remote communities, as well as the age-based cohorts.

While there hasn’t been vaccination availability through the B.C. Pharmacy Association program in Cranbrook, vaccinations have been occurring for staff and residents at long-term care homes, medical health professionals and the clinically vulnerable.

However, the age-based cohorts program is also underway at the Cranbrook Curling Centre, as the province is currently booking appointments for those aged 58-years-old and above. Anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible to register with the provincial system, and staff with the province will reach out to those who have registered to book a specific date for an immunization appointment.

Based on a media inquiry to Interior Health, there have been 8,609 total doses administered (8,205 first doses and 404 second doses) administered in Cranbrook, while Kimberley has had 2,521 total doses administered (2,387 first doses and 184 second doses).

Over in the Elk Valley, Fernie has administered 2,412 total doses (2,205 first doses and 207 second doses).

According to provincial government statistical data, the Cranbrook Local Health Area (LHA) — the municipality and outlying rural area — has a population of 28,054, meaning that approximately 30 per cent of the population has at least had a first dose.

For Kimberley’s LHA, with a population of 10,402 (again, the municipality and outlying area) has a 24 per cent vaccination uptake, while in the Fernie LHA, which includes other communities in the Elk Valley, 13 per cent of the 18,341 population has been vaccinated.

On Thursday, April 29, Interior Health also marked a milestone of administering approximately 275,000 doses since December last year, working in a coordinated effort with First Nations Health Authority, First Nations communities, municipalities and regional districts.

“Interior Health’s immunization campaign is running at full speed and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown. “We have immunized more than 35 per cent of people living in the Interior region and every dose brings us closer to wide-spread immunization in IH. This is our biggest tool in the fight against COVID-19.”

Of the total vaccine doses administered in Interior Health, 260,345 are first doses and 14,071 are second doses.

According to the federal government’s vaccination allocation data, British Columbia has received 1.9 million doses of COVID19 vaccines, between Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

A further 138,000 doses of Pfizer is expected in the next day or two, according to BC Health Minister Adrian Dix, who shared the update during a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday afternoon.