One at a time, people approached a sheltered table in front of a colourful TransLink bus at a Pitt Meadows plaza on Tuesday.
They were not there for transportation, rather, a walk-up Fraser Health COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
The mobile vaccine bus, a partnership between TransLink and Fraser Health, was at Meadowtown Centre for six hours with health professionals giving out shots of Pfizer, both first and second doses, to eligible people, 12 and up – no appointment or personal health number necessary.
Up to four people at a time can get a jab on the bus that started its tour in mid-July in White Rock, and then at the BC Ferries Tsawwassen terminal.
Tom Hill of Abbotsford showed up to get his first dose of the vaccine. He works along Airport Way in Pitt Meadows and said his co-workers encouraged him to go. His employers gave him a couple of hours off to go.
#COVID19 Update: 82.1% of eligible people 12 & older in BC have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 70.6% have received their second dose. To date, 7,087,736 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in BC.
— BCCDC (@CDCofBC) August 10, 2021
He said he decided to get vaccinated partly because of peer pressure, because he is personally “on the fence” in terms of the vaccine, and also didn’t want to face face potential restrictions.
“I also want to be able to travel and go to sporting events,” he said. “I want to be able to go to the Abbotsford Canucks games. I’m a die-hard Canucks fan,” he added.
Pitt Meadows resident Thomas Barros Ribeiro, who will be going into Grade 10 at Archbishop Carney in Port Coquitlam come September, received his second dose at the clinic. The 14-year-old was at the clinic with his father and two other siblings, and found it convenient because no appointment was needed.
He is hoping to one day live in a world without COVID-19.
“I hope everybody is going to be fully vaccinated,” he said about his return to school.
“I hope everybody is going to be immune, to finally start hanging out with one another without the masks. I can’t wait,” he said.
Shivani Barot, had a friend working at the clinic, who called her up and told her to come out.
“I heard lots of people having the vaccine and it is safe,” she said, adding that she might need it if she wants to travel in the future.
Her husband, Tay Barot, who also received his first dose, explained they both had the day off and thought why not, especially since he also works on the front lines in the food industry.
Fraser Health won’t release the number of people who got a shot at the mobile clinic in Pitt Meadows on Tuesday, or how many people were there to get a first or second dose.
Today the mobile vaccine team is at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey.
As of Aug. 10, 81 per cent of those 12 and over who are eligible in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows had received their first shot of vaccine, and 71 per cent have received a second dose.
To date across the province, 82.1 per cent of eligible people 12 and older have received their first dose of vaccine and 70.6 per cent have received a second dose.
Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island already has 82 per cent of their 12 and over population with a second dose.
Second dose appointments can now be made 28 days after the first.
The Haney Place Mall clinic, will only be offering vaccines until Aug. 14, its final date of operation. The clinic is open from 10:45 – 4:30 p.m. for walk-in first or second doses, as capacity and supplies allow.
The Fraser River Indigenous Society, who offer dedicated cultural supports, will be closing on Aug. 30 and until then they are open on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m..
To catch the next mobile vaccine bus location go to fraserhealth.ca/vax#.YRQvh9NKhTY.
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