Dr. Bonnie Henry B.C.'s provincial health officer, updates the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)

Province ‘ramping up’ COVID-19 vaccination effort in hard-hit Surrey

‘Door-to-door’ registration program in the works, says Dr. Bonnie Henry

Provincial health officials are encouraging Surrey residents to register for a COVID-19 vaccine as they begin to “ramp up” the immunization effort across the city.

Further, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry indicated there’s a “door-to-door” registration program in the works.

Surrey has been, by far, the hardest hit municipality in the province in terms of COVID-19 transmission.

Henry, who came to Surrey to give Thursday’s briefing, said the reasons for this include a prevalence of multi-generational households, as well as a large number of essential workers and high-risk workplaces in the city.

RELATED: Surrey records highest monthly increase in COVID-19 cases

With more vaccine on hand, Henry said Surrey will see more immunization opportunities in the coming weeks in hot-spot areas.

Health Minister Adrian Dix, who joined Henry at the briefing, said there will be more information coming “later today” in terms of how the vaccine will be targeted, “but there is going to be opportunities in Surrey to be vaccinated and the key to it, the absolute key to it, is to register and, when invited to book, to book.”

Dix said the province will be moving through the age cohorts “very quickly,” particularly in hot-spot areas.

Asked about door-to-door registration, Henry said there’s a program “absolutely going door-to-door and registering people and then providing them with the means of getting to the clinics.”

“The door-to-door bit will be some of the things I’ve been hearing about today, where there’s kiosks that are moving in different parts of the community to register people. And in some cases, people will be eligible for vaccine that day if there are appointments available.”

The most recent kiosks were established at Guildford Mall (May 6), Real Canadian Superstore at 120 Street and 82 Avenue (May 7), and Strawberry Hill Shopping Centre (May 7).

The program is co-ordinated by Fraser Health.

TransLink has partnered with Fraser Health to launch a Group Vaccine Shuttle Program. The program is designed to help people facing transportation challenges access their COVID-19 immunization. To learn more about the program, visit fraserhealth.ca/bookaride

Public health officials reported 694 new coronavirus cases Thursday, 445 of them in the Fraser Health region and 153 in Vancouver Coastal. There are 457 people in hospital as of May 6, down from more than 500 in recent days, and 154 in intensive care.

The infection rate has slowed since daily cases fell below 700 last weekend, with 668 up to Monday, 697 on Tuesday, and 572 on Wednesday – the lowest 24-hour total since March.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

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