IWK extends vaccine clinic for another week as demand remains high

·2 min read
A volunteer holds up a sticker reading,
A volunteer holds up a sticker reading,

The IWK Health Centre is extending its walk-in vaccination clinic for at least another week to keep up with high demand, particularly among young people and those getting a first dose.

The clinic, which was supposed to close on Aug. 27, will now remain open from Wednesday to Friday next week, with the possibility of another extension based on need.

"We're seeing huge demand that nobody had expected," said Mary-Beth Rowe, the manager of COVID-19 response areas at the IWK.

The clinic vaccinated 327 people Wednesday. Rowe said more than half, 170 people, lined up for their first dose.

Steve Lawrence/CBC
Steve Lawrence/CBC

"It's a great thing, really, to see that there's that many people that have decided, for whatever reason, to want to get vaccinated, so we're very happy to see that," she said.

Younger people in line

While the IWK isn't tracking data, Rowe said people between ages 12 and 30 are predominant in the lineup.

With the return to school around the corner, and vaccination requirements recently announced by Halifax-area universities and colleges, she said she's not surprised to see the demand is mostly coming from younger people.

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

Nova Scotia Public Health updates vaccination data by age group every Friday.

The age bracket with the highest jump in vaccine coverage since last week was 12-14. Last Friday, 64 per cent in that age group were fully vaccinated. That number is now 75 per cent.

People aged 20 to 24 have the lowest rates in the province, according to the provincial dashboard. Last week, 57 per cent in that age bracket were fully vaccinated. That number is now 61 per cent.

Demand continues

When the clinic opened, Rowe said it averaged closer to 150 walk-in vaccinations a day and closer to 200 "on a good day."

Staffing is down and there are fewer vaccine stations, but the clinic is administering more doses per day than before.

CBC
CBC

After running out of doses last Friday, the clinic ordered enough to ensure anyone coming in would not be turned away.

Rowe said a handful of staff gave back their vacation this week to help out with the clinic.

The clinic will offer Pfizer-BioNTech shots, approved for anyone aged 12 and up, from Wednesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to those who have a valid ID and health card.

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