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Central Okanagan families urged to get vaccinated before school year starts

A letter was sent to parents of school-aged children by email from Interior Health
Interior Health is recommending parents and eligible school-aged children get the vaccine before heading back to class. (Metro Creative photo)

Central Okanagan parents are being urged to get themselves and their eligible children fully vaccinated ahead of the upcoming academic year.

Interior Health sent a letter to parents of school-aged children on Tuesday, August 3, encouraging them to get vaccinated. The health authority said getting vaccinated is the best way we can protect each other against the variants and ensure they can’t mutate and spread.

“This is the perfect time to get vaccinated if families didn’t get their kids vaccinated before. If they get the first dose this week and get their second dose 28 days later, they will be vaccinated by the time school starts,” said Dr. Silvina Mema in an interview with Kelowna Capital News.

The letter comes after the provincial government declared a COVID-19 outbreak for the Central Okanagan region on Wednesday, July 28. It also comes after the BC Centre for Disease Control reported that the Delta variant accounts for a majority of new COVID-19 cases in the Interior Health region. Eighty-nine per cent of new COVID-19 cases in the Interior were the Delta variant.

“The Delta variant is a concern, and we’ve seen increased activity among the unvaccinated. We want kids to go back to normal in school and enjoy a full learning experience like being able to attend sports and music lessons, but they can’t do that if cases arise among unvaccinated people,” said Mema.

Anybody born in 2009 or earlier can get vaccinated, said Mema, and an email clarifying this will be sent to parents later today (Aug. 3). Mema encourages parents to take advantage of the multiple drop-in vaccination clinics that will be happening in Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Here is a list of drop-in vaccination clinics in Kelowna and West Kelowna:

•Trinity Hall, 1905 Springfield Road, Kelowna: Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

•Rutland Secondary School gymnasium, 705 Rutland Road North, Kelowna: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

•Westbank Lion’s Community Centre, 2466 Main Street, West Kelowna: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

READ MORE: Delta variant accounts for majority of new COVID-19 cases in the Interior

READ MORE: BREAKING: Mask mandate returns to Central Okanagan, COVID-19 outbreak declared


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