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Got the jab? No membership for you at this Kelowna martial arts studio

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April 13, 2021 - 2:01 PM

A Kelowna martial arts academy says it won't allow membership to anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine, while making many bizarre claims about vaccinations.

Flow Academy, located on Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna, released a statement on its website saying it will not accept any applications for memberships from those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

“This decision was made after much discussion with other health, wellness, and fitness related facilities across Canada (both public and private) as well as liability insurance companies," the statement reads. "To put it simply, the unknown health effects of the mRNA vaccines as well as reported side effects such as viral shedding, seizures, and death following the administration of these vaccines, are not covered by our liability.”

The academy said the policy will be updated in 2023, once “clinical trials of this experimental injection are completed.”

A statement on Flow Academy's website.
A statement on Flow Academy's website.
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Interior Health says the facility is already on their radar and took issue with the statements about vaccines.

"Additional follow-up is taking place because of ongoing concerns and additional complaints. We have also been consulting with the city and the RCMP," according to Interior Health. "There is no public health basis for a policy excluding people who are immunized against COVID-19. Immunization prevents the spread of disease and protects patrons and staff."

Interior Health said it issued an order and a ticket for non-compliance with public health orders to Flow Academy in February as the academy permitted a high intensity indoor group activity and interfered with a person exercising a power under the Public Health Authority.

Businesses need to follow the health orders and adult group activities are not currently allowed, IH said, and businesses that can operate within public health orders are still required to have COVID-19 safety plans in place to prevent transmission and protect patrons and staff.

Interior Health will follow-up with any business not in compliance and takes appropriate actions, which can include fines and closures.

Flow Academy could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to Immunize B.C., while it is still difficult to say whether or not there will be long-term side effects of the vaccines, the medical and scientific community is confident in the long-term safety of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

“Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades. mRNA vaccines have been studied before for flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus... In addition, cancer research has used mRNA to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells. Decades of studying mRNA have shown no long-term side-effects,” according to the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S.

Firefighters, police and paramedics are being vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in the next few weeks alongside staff at schools and child-care centres, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s said yesterday, April 12.

READ MORE: 299 cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health since Friday, 3,289 in B.C.

She said certain neighbourhoods will also be targeted as the province's age-based program currently books people aged 65 and up for immunization, though the Pfizer vaccine has not been arriving as reliably as the one by Moderna.

"This is, I don't need to say, our third wave, and knowing this, we need to chart our best path forward to manage this wave in British Columbia," she said during yesterday's press conference. "We have recognized from the very beginning that the impacts of shutdowns and the measures that we take in public health, don't affect people equally, and that has been an important consideration that we have taken all along in our management of this pandemic here in British Columbia. But the goals have been the same."

The focus of health officials has been on keeping people from getting sick, and particularly to keep people from being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19, she said.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is also being administered in a parallel program at pharmacies for people between the ages of 55 and 65 during the third wave of the pandemic, which has Henry asking people to stay in their own neighbourhoods.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, visit the ImmunizeBC website here.

— With files from The Canadian Press

— This story was updated at 3:15 p.m. to clarify that Interior Health is currently investigating the studio and issued a ticket and order for a previous violation.

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