Nanaimo’s protection from COVID-19 is about to be expanded in a big way.
Mass immunizations begin around the province on Monday, March 15, including in Nanaimo at the Beban Park social centre and Cedar Community Hall.
Nanaimo’s COVID-19 immunization clinic moved from the Nanaimo Public Health Unit on Grant Avenue to Beban Park in recent weeks and immunizations have been continuing for health-care workers.
Starting this coming week, non-Indigenous British Columbians 85 and over and Indigenous elders 65 and over start getting their shots.
Erin Kenning, public health program coordinator for greater Nanaimo, said with the Beban Park clinic already up and running, it’s allowed staff to work out the kinks and be prepared for a larger-scale immunization effort.
story continues below
The social centre is divided into a check-in room, a space to line up, immunization stations, and a seating area where people will wait for 15 minutes after receiving their shots before they exit the building.
“We have ambassadors that are strategically placed around the facility as well as admin support and they help the clients find their way to the stations and direct them to wherever there’s a nurse ready…” said Kenning. “Prior to the immunization happening, a consent process happens where they go through the side effects, what to expect, the vaccine. They get all that information before they proceed.”
She said the clinic has mainly received the Pfizer vaccine, though it has also received some Moderna, and said clients will receive the same level of protection from either.
Kenning was asked what sort of reactions she’s seen as people are immunized from the virus.
“All the clients are happy, the space is safe, very positive experiences for most of the clients that have been here, and health care workers,” she said. “No bad press so far in terms of experiences for people.”