CHEK Upside: A look inside the Archie Browning Centre vaccination clinic

CHEK Upside: A look inside the Archie Browning Centre vaccination clinic
WatchThe Upside takes a look at the reopened vaccination clinic at the Archie Browning Sports Centre in Esquimalt.

Outside of the Archie Browning Sports Centre, Barb Greene is waiting with her husband Garry to get her booster shot.

“I’m anxious to get it, I’ll feel a lot better when I do knowing I’ve got the third one,” says Greene.

She and thousands of others at vaccination clinics across the province are getting the jab as the Omicron variant continues to drive up case counts around the world.

“Now that Omicron is here and the risk is the highest it’s ever been to being exposed, it’s very important that people have that highest level of protection against getting COVID and getting sick from COVID,” says Island Health MHO Dr. Mike Benusic.

As many get their third dose of the vaccine, the rise in cases is also encouraging those who aren’t vaccinated to book appointments.

“We have definitely been seeing a bit of a blip in the number of people coming out for that first and second doses,” says Benusic.

“Right now 95 percent of people in the ICU with COVID-19 are unvaccinated adults, so getting those first and second doses and those boosters is so important.”

Even with an increased demand for booster shots, Island Health says there are still plenty of open appointment slots available.

“What we’re often seeing now is that there is often same-day availability for vaccine doses,” says Benusic.

“If it’s first dose or second dose you can walk right in, if it’s a booster dose, register online, you can usually come in here the day of or the day after.”

With vaccination clinics across the island busy, healthcare workers both past and present have been stepping up to the plate as volunteers.

“We are seeing just a huge outpouring of support from people who are retired, people who are firefighters, pharmacy technicians,” says Benusic.

“I feel like that this is the only way for us to stay ahead of this virus is if everybody does a little bit to help,” says volunteer Dr. Frank LoBianco.

“It is my way of helping out, by giving vaccinations to everyone.”

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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