As a mass vaccination clinic is set to close over the weekend, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is reflecting on its success over the past year.
In cooperation with VCH, the mass vaccination clinic at the Vancouver Convention Centre started administering vaccines against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in March 2021. The clinic temporarily closed in August 2021 after most British Columbians received their second dose and reopened in January 2022 to support the Province’s booster shot program.
As B.C.’s booster vaccination rates are nearing 90 per cent, VCH announced the clinic will be closing on Feb. 20 earlier this week. As one of the largest vaccination clinics in the province the clinic successfully administered over 600,000 vaccines over its lifespan.
“B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) and the Vancouver Convention Centre are pivotal community partners for Vancouver Coastal Health and the Province’s pandemic response,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, Chair for Vancouver Coastal Health and executive lead of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Program. “Since the onset of the pandemic, they have supported our efforts by providing not only the space necessary for the vaccination clinic but also their expertise in event logistics, which was invaluable in assisting in the design of immunization clinics throughout the province.”
The Convention Centre’s role in supporting B.C.’s recovery isn’t over yet though as it still hosts the health authority’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team for contact tracing and relaying test results. The Centre will also continue to be a site for the B.C. Centre for Disease Control for test-processing. These activities have been operating inside the Vancouver Convention Centre’s East building since October 2020.
“We are extremely grateful to all the healthcare workers, volunteers and community partners who supported the mass immunization clinic at the Vancouver Convention Centre,” said Dr. Gwendolyn Point, Chair of the Vancouver Convention Centre and PavCo’s Board of Directors. “We know that the Province’s immunization program is an important step towards the recovery of the economy and the tourism industry in B.C., and PavCo is proud to contribute to its success.”
The Centre was also prepared to serve as an Alternate Care Site from April 2020 to July 2021. Fortunately, the Alternate Care Site did not have to be used but provided another layer of support for the healthcare system with 271-beds.