A local getting his COVID shot at a drop-in vaccine bus in Maple Ridge. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

A local getting his COVID shot at a drop-in vaccine bus in Maple Ridge. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and SD 42 seek regular and accessible vaccination clinics

Write letter to BC CDC asking for a weekly immunization opportunity within the community

The cities of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, and School District 42 (SD 42) have written to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC), requesting more vaccination clinics within the community.

In a letter signed by mayors Bill Dingwall and Mike Morden, and school board chair Korleen Carreras, the three are hoping the CDC would make more vaccination clinics available in the community.

“We are writing today to share our concern regarding regular and accessible vaccination clinics in our community. Although we have had some strong participation in the vaccination program, we are not at the level we need to be, nor at the level of some other communities in our health region,” said the letter.

ALSO READ: New COVID restrictions imposed on eastern Fraser Valley to encourage vaccination

The letter dated Sept. 20, further states that for the past three weeks, residents of Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge were the only ones in the Fraser Health Authority that were without a daily, drop-in, post-secondary, or school-based clinic.

The mass clinic in Maple Ridge wrapped up on Aug. 14, after which very few drop-in clinics have been made available in the city. Beyond those, anyone wanting the COVID-19 vaccination, is having to travel to neighbouring clinics in Mission, Langley or Coquitlam.

“With the next closest clinics being in Mission, Langley, or Coquitlam, travel and transit schedules could be a significant barrier, especially for our youth and vulnerable populations. We are concerned that our vaccination rates could stagnate without an easy, accessible option to receive the vaccine,” the letter further states.

In a preview for the Pitt Meadows council meeting, Counc. Nicole MacDonald said that the letter was written so that more regular and accessible vaccination clinics become availabale in the community.

“So we are seeing a gap there, and are wanting those clinics so that our residents and community members receive the vaccines they need,” she said.

Both the cities and the school board are asking BC CDC to organize regular, weekly vaccine clinics in the community.

ALSO READ: COVID brings Maple Ridge father of four close to death


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