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Hundreds of people reported at Kelowna protest of masks, vaccinations

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December 12, 2020 - 2:49 PM

Hundreds of people carrying anti-vaccination and anti-mask signs took to Kelowna's streets this afternoon in what participants have dubbed a freedom rally.

Witnesses reported the large group walking around Highway 97 and the city's downtown area, along Bernard Avenue, Richter Street and Ellis Street.

Protesters were not wearing masks and carried signs saying things like "vaccine say no, my body, my choice."

The RCMP did respond to the protest, according to witnesses, but could not be immediately reached for comment.

Anti-mask protests been ongoing in the region, especially since provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's order mandating mask use in indoor public spaces came into effect.

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Henry said Wednesday, Dec. 9 an initial shipment of 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which protects against COVID-19,  will be available at two clinics in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions, before immunization is eventually expanded to 30 sites.

Fourteen distribution sites have been selected in Canada initially so Interior Health will be part of the next round of distribution.

“Part of the reasoning is, as we know, Fraser Health has a lot of cases and many more outbreaks than we will ever have,” Interior Health chief medical health officer Dr. Albert De Villiers said at a news conference, Dec. 9. “They’re also looking at figuring out all the logistics and making sure all the training is up to date and making sure everyone knows what they’re doing. Then we’ll get ours sorted out.”

READ MORE: Interior Health region second in line for COVID-19 vaccine behind Lower Mainland

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