VCH provides insight into local vaccine rollout

·2 min read

Richmondites have begun to receive COVID-19 vaccinations at several clinics around the city.

“Some of these are what we call our pop-ups, or short-term clinics,” explains Bob Chapman, interim vice-president of the Vancouver community for Vancouver Coastal Health, in an interview with the Richmond Sentinel. “And we opened up the River Rock, which will be our clinic that runs seven days a week for the entire campaign, right through into the fall.”

The clinic at River Rock Casino Resort is one of the larger clinics for the local community, and it also has the capacity for vaccine delivery to be scaled up as more expansive age cohorts are invited to be vaccinated.

“We will scale up some other sites in Richmond as we need to as well, to support that extra need for the capacity depending on what age cohort we’re moving into,” says Chapman.

He adds that partnering with staff at Vancouver International Airport has been “a huge opportunity,” with airport staff acting as “wayfinders” for people arriving to be vaccinated.

“They’re the people that will welcome you and help you figure out where to go, and start your journey through the vaccine process,” says Chapman. “They’ve been an incredible partner, and extremely welcoming. We’ve had very positive feedback about how accommodating they’ve been, and how receptive they’ve been to the public.”

Some vaccine clinics have volunteers helping to run them. Chapman says feedback from the public has been positive, and that volunteers are welcomed.

“There is a lot of anticipation and excitement from the public about coming to get their vaccines, it’s opening a door in this journey of the pandemic and really opening up some huge opportunities for them.”

And at a time when many people have been struggling with restrictions and the feeling of isolation, Chapman says being able to be vaccinated has been a bright spot.

“We know even for the seniors who have come into clinics, some of them have been quite emotional at receiving a vaccine and have really wanted to have a social engagement and talk while they’re there, and talk about the fact that they haven’t left their home in a year.”

Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel