City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden. (The News files)

City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden. (The News files)

COVID herd immunity challenge pits Maple Ridge against Pitt Meadows

17 other Lower Mainland communities part of friendly challenge

The mayors of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have entered their cities in a challenge to be the first to achieve herd immunity.

Mayors from 19 districts entered the friendly contest in order to encourage residents to get immunized.

“More than half of our residents have rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves and those they love from COVID-19,” said City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden, who reported about 60 per cent of residents already with a first dose.

City of Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall thinks his residents have a good chance of doing well in the challenge.

“We’ve got a pretty compact and close-knit community,” said Dingwall. And with a demographic that includes a lot of families and seniors, “We’re likely going to do fairly well,” he said.

Fraser Health is behind the challenge that will see which communities can achieve 70, 75 and 80 per cent immunization thresholds first. Updates will be shared on social media by the participating mayors and Fraser Health.

READ MORE: Past week’s count shows 53 cases of COVID-19 in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows

As of May 25, more than 60 per cent of eligible adults over the age of 12 within Fraser Health have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than one million doses have been handed out region-wide.

Dr. Victoria Lee, president and chief executive officer at Fraser Health, said there is a lot more work to be done.

“Fraser Health has seen the highest case numbers in our province, and it is all hands on deck as we work to provide COVID-19 vaccines to everyone in our region that wants one. As an interconnected region, vaccines are important whether you live in a larger city or a smaller community area,” she noted.

READ MORE: B.C. shortens second COVID-19 vaccine wait from 16 weeks to eight

Outside of the challenge, Fraser Health has advised they continue to collaborate with places of worship, community and municipal partners to remove barriers to people receiving their COVID-19 immunization across the region.

Dingwall said he is proud of his community and how residents have supported one another during the COVID-19 crisis.

He has already had his first dose, and said it provides him with a sense of comfort knowing he is more protected against COVID-19 than before.

“Please schedule your appointment today and get vaccinated as soon as you can to help keep everyone healthy,” he implored.

Mayor Morden is encouraging his community to step up and get vaccinated, if they are able.

“Do it to protect those who cannot take the vaccine. Do it for our seniors and youth. Do it for our frontline healthcare workers and essential workers, who’ve been doing their part throughout this pandemic. Now it’s time to do ours,” he said.

Fraser Health supports, including vaccine registration kiosks, in-reach clinics and neighbourhood clinics can be found at

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