‘There’s hope’: COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise in Island Health as fourth wave grows

'There's hope': COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise in Island Health as fourth wave grows

Janine Sterling nervously played with her hair Monday as she prepared to get her Covid-19 vaccine. Still afraid she said as she stepped up to receive it.

“I’ve just been kind of listening to people’s stories and I don’t know what information to believe,” said Janine Sterling, a Nanaimo resident.

The 36-year-old’s best friend is against vaccinations and was one of the protesters at September 1st’s heated anti-vaccine-passport rallies.

Still, the Nanaimo woman decided to get her shot against the advice of friends at an Island Health Vax Van clinic set up at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre for the sake of her family.

“I feel like I have to because I won’t be able to see my niece that was just born and stuff,” said Sterling.

“She’s very fearful but she has a brand new little niece and she wants to be able to see her so that’s why she feels in the middle. She’s not sure about getting the shot but for them, she wants to,” said Sterling’s mother Michelle Kobayashi.

Sterling falls in the 18-39 age group that makes the fastest-growing age range for COVID-19 cases in BC. So her mother was proud to see her get the shot.

“I have one more son that I have to turn. It’s this age, it’s this age group in the thirties,” said Kobayashi.

Canada is currently seeing a fourth wave of COVID-19 take hold due to the highly transmissible Delta variant increasing cases and hospitalizations. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, if the current rate of transmission continues, by early October there will be more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day in Canada. So Island Health is trying to get as many people immunized as possible through clinics and their mobile vans.

“We had a line up this morning ten minutes before the clinic started and really that’s what’s been happening for the last several stops and hopefully it continues through the day and we get to set a new record,” said Michael Munro, Director of Logistics & Contracts for Island Health.

“There’s hope. It’s good, people are getting the message and they’re doing their part,” said Kobayashi.

After receiving her vaccine, Sterling said she felt relieved.

“I feel better about it. I just do,” said Sterling.

Vax vans will visit post-secondary institutions across Vancouver Island this week and next.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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