COVID-19 vaccines delivered at Health Unit

·2 min read

Last year, Thor Skafte spent three months in self-isolation after contracting COVID-19. At one point, the 82-year-old Fort St. John resident spent several days in ICU when the infection became too aggressive to fight on his own.

On Thursday, Skafte was among the dozens who received their first shots of vaccine at the public health unit.

“I think it’s great. This is long overdue,” Skafte told Alaska Highway News. “I had COVID, I just about died from it. I was in intensive care for a number of days.”

Immunization clinics began this week in the city for seniors over the age of 80 and aboriginal elders over the age of 65. The clinic has been set up in the health unit's multipurpose room, with the capacity to serve 95 patients a day.

Northern Health says 700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been planned the Fort St. John clinics, running to March 26.

Skafte moved to Fort St. John from Saskatchewan in 1965, and has lived here ever since. His working career started as a psychiatric nurse, before he moved into farming and oil and gas exploration.

Skafte spoke highly of the immunization rollout, and says it’s foolish for anyone to reject a vaccine.

“It’s the best thing to happen. I’m amazed that they developed it as fast as they did," Skafte said. "It’s unfortunate that a lot people say they’re not going to take it."

As of Thursday, 18,649 vaccine doses had been given across the Northern Health region, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Eligible residents wanting to get vaccinated can call the Health Unit to schedule an appointment, and no walk-ins are admitted.

Residents can expect to be greeted at the door and screened by a clerk who will check their ID, personal health number, contact information, eligibility, and whether they’ve experienced any recent symptoms of COVID-19.

The clinic has two clerks and two nurses providing the immunizations, with additional nurses available to help if needed.

To learn more, call the Health Unit at 250-263-6000.

Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News