Hundreds of vaccination appointments available on P.E.I. this week

·2 min read
Health P.E.I. Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling said health officials want to get the word out about the many opportunities to get vaccinated. (CBC - image credit)
Health P.E.I. Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling said health officials want to get the word out about the many opportunities to get vaccinated. (CBC - image credit)

P.E.I. has been ramping up efforts to get more Islanders vaccinated against COVID-19 and health officials say there are hundreds of appointments available this week.

In a press release that went out Monday, Health PEI said there were 1,400 COVID-19 vaccination appointments available, including those for third dose boosters and those dedicated for children.

Health P.E.I. Chief of Nursing, Marion Dowling said health officials want to get the word out about the many opportunities to get vaccinated after seeing a slight drop in appointment uptake since last week.

"There were over 60,000 people eligible for booster doses in January alone and that drops quite a bit in February. But we've done a lot of doses and a lot of people have come out. Over 48,000 doses have been given across the province, so that's a huge number," Dowling said.

But, that still leaves thousands who are eligible and have not yet had their third dose and Dowling said she would still like to see those open appointment filled.

Omicron could be slowing vaccination rate

The number of available appointments could be the result of a number of factors, Dowling said.

Health P.E.I. reopened mass vaccination clinics in Charlottetown and Summerside in January, to create more capacity to schedule appointments for the tens of thousands who were eligible for boosters. Vaccination appointments are also now being offered through community pharmacies and through Canadian Health Labs.

CBC
CBC

The current public health measures could be having an impact as well, said Dowling.

"Many people are very much paying attention to public health measures. They may be close contacts of cases at the moment and that's affecting their ability to come," Dowling said.

"We really just want to make sure people know it's still available, it's still there. If you've had COVID, once you're recovered you're able to come and get your booster and the clinic appointments are available for you."

7,500 pediatric vaccines administered

Dowling said there are appointments available for first, second, third and pediatric vaccinations across the province.

So far, she said more than 7,500 children between 5 and 11 years old have now received their first dose, which is about 64 per cent of that age group.

Health P.E.I. will continue to notify the public about available appointments week to week, she said. Dowling is encouraging anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to book an appointment, and said health officials are specifically focused on reaching people 50 years and older to get their booster vaccines.

"We are really trying to promote those individuals because we know they were eligible the soonest but also they're at greater risk of becoming more seriously ill or hospitalized," she said.

All information about how to book a vaccine appointment can be found on the province's website.

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