Latest COVID vaccination data shows Interior Health lags far behind rest of B.C. | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Latest COVID vaccination data shows Interior Health lags far behind rest of B.C.

Despite putting on special vaccination clinics, like this one in Centennial Park, the Rutland neighourhood of Kelowna is still a full nine percentage points behind the rest of the province when it comes to vaccinations.
August 26, 2021 - 4:30 PM

While 83.3 per cent of B.C. residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only a handful of communities in the Thompson-Okanagan have reached that level.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control posts two separate but overlapping tables of vaccination rates for B.C. One list is by Community Health Service Areas.

For the Interior Health region, it includes 23 such areas, mostly within the Thompson and Okanagan regions, where larger cities like Kelowna and Kamloops are broken into smaller neighbourhoods.

As of Aug. 24, out of those 23 areas, only eight have a vaccination rate of 80 per cent or more. The highest is Kamloops Centre South at 85 per cent. Southern Okanagan and the Kelowna neighbourhoods of Glenmore and Okanagan Mission are close to the provincial average at 83 per cent.

At the bottom of the list are places like Enderby (63 per cent), Kettle Valley (65 per cent) and Armstrong/Spallumcheen (69 per cent).

While much of Kelowna is near the 80 per cent level, the Rutland neighbourhood is only at 74 per cent and the nearby District of Lake Country is at 75 per cent.

Kamloops Centre South is at the top with its 85 per cent but Kamloops Centre North is only at 78 per cent.

As for the rest of the province, on the Community Health Service Areas web page, 42 of the other 55 areas in B.C. are at 80 per cent or above. That’s 76.4 per cent, compared to 35 per cent of the Thompson and Okanagan areas.

Vaccinations are becoming increasingly important as the province is going to require proof of vaccination before people are allowed into places like restaurants, concerts and sporting events.

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccination card coming to attend events, restaurants in B.C.

The other listing is by Local Health Area and for Interior Health it includes the Kootenays but cities like Kamloops and Kelowna are each taken as a whole.

Of the 31 Local Health Areas in the Interior Health region, 29 per cent have vaccination rates of more than 80 per cent. For the other 55 Local Health Regions on B.C., 76 per cent have vaccination rates of 80 per cent or higher.

That list includes Peach River South with 57 per cent of its residents vaccinated and Peace River North at 59 per cent. It also includes places like Central Coast at 96 per cent and Kitimat at 94 per cent.

In the Interior Health Region, Revelstoke is the most vaccinated at 87 per cent, followed by Windermere at 84 per cent and Golden at 83 per cent.

At the bottom of the vaccination rankings are the North Thompson area and 100 Mile House, both at 70 per cent.

More than 80 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in B.C. and 85 per cent of hospitalizations are amongst people who are not fully vaccinated.

An outbreak was declared in the Central Okanagan in July with stricter rules imposed Aug. 6 on mask wearing and social gatherings.

READ MORE: Bars and nightclubs hardest hit by new COVID restrictions in the Central Okanagan

As case numbers have gone up, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has now ordered everyone to wear masks in indoor public places.

READ MORE: Masks required for all indoor public spaces in B.C. starting tomorrow

To see the full list go here, scroll down and click on 'Download the data' in the second paragraph. The CHSA button at the bottom is for the Community Health Service Areas and the LHA button is for Local Health Areas.

This is how the 23 Community Health Service Areas, mostly in the Thompson and Okanagan, stack up:

  • 63% – Enderby
  • 65% – Kettle Valley
  • 69% – Armstrong/Spallumcheen
  • 70% – Central Okanagan Rural
  • 73% – Grand Forks
  • 73% – Salmon Arm
  • 74% – Lower Thompson
  • 74% – Rutland
  • 75% – Keremeos
  • 75% – Lake Country
  • 76% – Princeton
  • 77% – Vernon Centre/Coldstream
  • 78% – Kamloops Centre North
  • 79% – West Kelowna
  • 81% – Downtown Kelowna
  • 81% – Penticton
  • 81% – Summerland
  • 83% – Southern Okanagan
  • 83% – Glenmore
  • 83% – Okanagan Mission
  • 85% – Kamloops Centre South

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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