COVID Vaccination encouraged

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BY Adam Olsen (MLA, Saanich North and the Islands), Gary Holman, (CRD director), Laura Patrick (Islands Trust trustee) and Peter Grove (Islands Trust trustee)

We, your elected officials, understand that some Salt Springers are hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We understand that your body is your own, and that we all look after our bodies in the ways we personally deem as important. 

This pandemic has shown us that we also have to look after one another. 

As neighbours, as family and friends, as Salt Springers and Gulf Islanders, we have come together to protect our communities for the past year and a half. We supported our healthcare and frontline workers with a nightly cheer. We checked in on each other when we were all asked to stay home. We are all exhausted by COVID-19, but the pandemic is not over. We are encouraging all our constituents to make community health a top priority by getting vaccinated. 

As of Aug. 23, 71 per cent of eligible Salt Springers had received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, this is the second lowest rate in the Capital Region. 

Vaccines have dramatically reduced the number of people who get sick and the severity of illness when they encounter the virus. The fourth wave is being driven primarily by the Delta variant. This variant is proving to be challenging as it is more contagious and is making unvaccinated people very sick. 

Vaccines are proving to be an effective measure in our collective fight against COVID-19. It is important to acknowledge that getting vaccinated does not only provide you better protection but it also protects people in the wider community, and in particular, children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the step of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. People who get the vaccine have a much better chance to protect themselves and their loved ones; across all of B.C. and especially within your communities. Rising case numbers across our province are frightening for many, but we’re more prepared than ever with the availability of vaccines. 

If you are feeling uncertain about the vaccine and have health questions, you can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C., or if you are deaf and hard of hearing, call 7-1-1 or 604-215-5101 to contact Video Relay Services.

Vaccines are safe, they are effective, and they are available to us all on a daily basis at the walk-in clinic at the Salt Spring Island Health Unit located at 160 Fulford-Ganges Rd. You can either book an appointment by calling 250-538-4880 or walk-in to the clinic. Thank you again to all who have been vaccinated and who will be, for protecting our special island and the people who call it home. 

The provincial government has announced that they will be introducing a vaccine card. Starting on Sept. 13 proof of vaccine will be necessary to attend certain discretionary events.

Please visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof for more information. Additionally, the provincial government has reinstated public health orders regarding the use of masks indoors. Please visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions for the latest information.

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