Vax Pass providing incentive to get COVID-19 shot

·2 min read
Angela Cameron got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday because she wants to be allowed into rinks and other venues. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Angela Cameron got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday because she wants to be allowed into rinks and other venues. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

P.E.I.'s Vax Pass policy begins Tuesday, and it may be no coincidence that vaccination clinics and pharmacies are seeing a boost in first-dose bookings for COVID-19 shots.

Under the Vax Pass rules, people must show proof that they are fully vaccinated before they can enter many businesses, venues and recreational facilities.

Angela Cameron said she reluctantly got her first dose on Monday, because she wants to be allowed in the hockey rink to cheer on her kids.

"We definitely don't want to miss out and be sitting in the car, missing goals and everything like that," she said.

Cameron said she was worried the vaccine would actually give her some amount of COVID-19, though a nurse at the clinic assured her that's not how it works.

But even with that concern out of the way, she still feels she and her husband have been strong-armed into getting the shot.

"It's just something we weren't planning on doing to be honest. But now, with the stricter rules, and for us to really want to do anything as far as even going out to eat, the two of us, you need it now — you have to show your proof."

Increase in 1st doses

Health PEI and the Island's pharmacists association said they've seen an uptick in first-dose bookings over the past couple weeks. They said about 30 per cent of appointments are for first doses, compared with about 15 per cent in August and early September.

Some others getting their first doses Monday didn't want to be identified, but acknowledged to CBC News that the restrictions from not having a Vax Pass is the big reason they decided to get the shot. Others said they are finally convinced the vaccine is safe, and another said she just grew tired of feeling ostracized and judged for being unvaccinated.

According to the latest data, 94 per cent of eligible Islanders have had at least one dose, while 87 per cent have had two.

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