A mobile vaccination clinic made an appearance in Jasper on Aug. 3 as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the community.
The clinic was hosted in the parking lot across from the Crimson Hotel from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In a statement, Mayor Richard Ireland urged those who haven’t gotten a vaccine yet to do so, noting how those who are not vaccinated are contracting and spreading the virus.
“COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our community,” Ireland said.
“As I have said repeatedly over the last 17 months, we are a small community where spread of the virus can occur rapidly; we have a small hospital where our small, dedicated staff of health care professionals can be quickly overwhelmed.”
The Alberta government and a coalition of businesses partnered together to launch this new mobile vaccination clinic.
Jasper is host to a large amount of international and out-of-province workers, who may not have access to Alberta health care yet.
However, clients did not need an appointment or health-care card to go to the mobile clinic.
“We know that it is not always easy to arrange for a vaccination,” Ireland said.
“Out-of-Province workers in particular – those without Alberta Health coverage – face challenges. Those challenges, and other, more practical challenges, such as scheduling, are addressed by this Mobile Vaccination Clinic.”
The rise in cases comes nearly a month after Alberta lifted most health restrictions.
As of Aug. 3, there were 21 active cases in Jasper.
The mayor noted that 67 per cent of the population over the age of 12 was fully vaccinated as of last week, but only 55 per cent of those 20-39 years of age – the core of Jasper’s service industry workforce – are fully vaccinated.
Ireland acknowledged that people were tired of COVID-19 but emphasized that the pandemic was not over.
“If you – or someone you know – have not yet received a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, I urge you most emphatically to take advantage of this opportunity and every opportunity to Get vaccinated. Now. Without delay. Protect yourself, protect each other, protect our community, our visitors and our industry.”
Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh