Interior Health is expanding COVID-19 immunization capacity across the region. (Adobe stock photo)

Interior Health is expanding COVID-19 immunization capacity across the region. (Adobe stock photo)

Interior Health expanding COVID-19 immunization clinic capacity

Interior Health is expanding COVID-19 immunization clinic capacity across the region, including the East Kootenay, in order to all for people to get booster shots as soon as they are eligible.

Larger clinics and additional space for immunizations are opening up in Cranbrook, while other communities are expanding hours and adding more appointments, according to a news release from Interior Health.

“Interior Health is grateful to our community partners who are once again stepping up to provide clinic space,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health. “With pharmacies also offering appointments, people across our region have more options to book their booster appointments as soon as they are able.”

The Cranbrook Health Centre is taking booked appointments for children aged 5-11 from Jan. 12-28 and Jan. 31. However, a new space is opening up in the old Baker St. Mall across from the Urgent and Primary Care Centre that will be open Monday through Sunday from 10 am – 5 p.m. for first and second dose walk-ins, while third booster doses need to be a booked appointment.

The Kimberley Health Centre is also holding immunizations for children aged 5-11 for booked appointments from Jan. 12-14 and Jan. 19-21, Jan. 26-28. First and second dose walk-ins are also available at the same location between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. while third booster doses need to be a booked appointment.

Pharmacies across the region are also adding more appointments, according to Interior Health.

Anyone over 18 years of age will be invited to book an appointment for a COVID-19 booster dose approximately six months following their second dose. Interior Health also notes that pregnant people 18 years and older can get a booster dose eight weeks after their second dose, and can make an appointment by calling 1-833-838-2323.

“Receiving a COVID-19 booster dose is a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, interim chief medical health officer for Interior Health. “With increased COVID-19 activity across the Interior, getting your booster dose is a critical step you can take to reduce your risk of hospitalization and to preserve capacity in the health care system.”