Island Health is excited to share information about the 19 community clinics where more than 40,000 eligible residents will receive their first COVID-19 immunization over the next month.
When planning community clinic locations, Island Health focused on key principles including:
- Ease of access - in more urban areas we strived to establish a travel time of approximately no more than 15 minutes;
- Accessible by individuals with mobility challenges, including but not limited to wheelchair and walker access;
- On or close to major transportation routes and bus routes;
- The availability of functional clinic space and space to support appropriate physical distancing.
- Island Health is also working closely with Indigenous partners to help support a culturally safe experience for Indigenous people in all clinics. Immunizations will also be offered at Friendship Centres, including in Port Hardy, Victoria and Port Alberni.
Administrators with Salt Spring Island Health Centre have confirmed with the Exchange that original news released by media over the weekend incorrectly names the vaccine clinic on Salt Spring Island to be at the Salt Spring Island Health Centre at 160 Fulford-Ganges Rd. The correct name of the location of the vaccination clinic here on the island is the Salt Spring Island Health Unit at 160 Fulford-Ganges Road Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2T8, not the Salt Spring Island Health Centre located on King's Lane.
As we move into Phase 2 of the B.C. Immunization Plan, Island Health will continue to build on a successful vaccination program that has seen more than 60,000 doses administered in the past several weeks. This included providing protection for our most vulnerable residents in long-term care and assisted living, over 7,000 members of First Nations communities, and 25,000 health care workers.
Beginning on March 8th, seniors aged 90+ and indigenous people aged 65+ who don’t currently receive home support services or live in an independent living or a seniors’ supportive housing facility, will be able to call Island Health to book their vaccination appointment in their community.
Immunization appointments will begin on March 15. All health authorities in B.C. are registering individuals starting in the three age groupings below.
How to Register for The Covid-19 Vaccine
Only call in when you’re eligible (see below).
If you miss your initial age-based dates, you can call anytime after you become eligible.
To register: Call 1-833-348-4787, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily.
You will need to provide your:
- Legal first and last name
- Date of birth
- Post code
- Personal health number (aka: care card)
- Contact information (direct phone number or support person phone number)
- The call centre agent will confirm your appointment date and time at the location nearest to you.
Please only call in when you are eligible, otherwise your appointment will not be booked.
- Year of birth in or before 1931 (90+ seniors)
- Year of birth in or before 1956 for Indigenous people
- Registration will open March 8
- Immunizations begin March 15
Year of birth in or before 1936 (85+ seniors)
- Registration will open March 15
- Immunizations begin March 22
Year of birth in or before 1941 (80+ seniors)
- Registration will open March 22
- Immunizations begin March 29
Exceptions to Call-In Process
Island Health is contacting some people directly to book appointments. If you fall into the following groups, there is no need to call.
- community health workers
- long-term home support clients
- people living and working in independent living centres
- people living and working in seniors supportive housing
- hospital staff
- community general practitioners and medical specialists (and office staff)
How to Register for The Covid-19 Vaccine on Behalf of An Eligible Individual
If an eligible individual has difficulty registering themselves, a family member, friend or community advocate can register for them, by calling 1-833-348-4787, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily
Here's what happens when you call on behalf of someone:
- The phone agent verifies who you are calling for and asks you to provide their age and personal information
- You work with the phone agent to select an appointment time slot at a clinic close to the home of the person you're calling for
- The phone agent confirms the appointment time and clinic location
- If you've provided contact information, you get a confirmation message sent by email or text
Taking a Whole Community Approach
Where communities with a small population (under 4,000 residents) and have challenges with accessibility (ie, accessible only by ferry or air or more than 3 hours ground travel from a hospital) health authorities will take a whole of community approach to immunization. Depending on the size of the community this may result in the entire adult population of the community having the opportunity to be vaccinated during a single health authority visit to the community (in one day or on consecutive days), or over two health authority visits. The following Island Health communities will be vaccinated through a whole community approach and details on when the vaccination clinics will occur will be communicated in the coming days.
Bamfield, Cortes Island, Denman Island, Gabriola Island, Galiano Island, Gold River, Hornby Island, Kyuquot, Lasqueti Island, Mayne Island, North Pender Island, Penelakut, Port Alice, Port Hardy, Port McNeil, Port Renfrew/Jordan River, Quadra Island, Read Island, Saturna Island, Sayward, Sointula, South Pender Island, Tahsis, Thetis Island, Tofino, Ucluelet, Zeballos
For residents over age 80 who live in these communities, if the whole community approach clinic is not scheduled prior to April 12th, Island Health will ensure you have the opportunity to be vaccinated in/close to your community prior to April 12th. Please contact the Island Health call centre during the week that you are eligible for your age group.
Culturally Safe Experiences for Indigenous People
Island Health continues to work in close partnership with First Nations Health Authority, Métis Nation British Columbia and Friendship Centers across Vancouver Island to improve cultural safety in all areas of health-care, including at COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
Indigenous people and communities continue to be prioritized, resulting in early access to vaccine, especially for communities exposed or vulnerable to COVID-19.
The lessons learned and ongoing collaboration between agencies and communities informs Island Health’s vaccination rollout, including how to create a culturally safe environment for everyone. This includes cultural safety training for staff and volunteers, as well as employing staff from partner organizations at COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
Island Health acknowledges that historical and current health system trauma may result in Indigenous individuals not wanting to visit a health authority site to be vaccinated. To address this, Island Health is pleased to be working with Indigenous partners to ensure vaccination clinic staff and volunteers have cultural safety and humility training.
We have also worked with Indigenous partners to have the Greater Victoria Friendship Centre, the Port Alberni Friendship Centre and the Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre as locations where vaccine can also be delivered. We are also working with Indigenous partners on similar opportunities in other communities.