Hope, happiness and relief were in the air as a clinic in Sayward had residents lined up for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
“It was very well organized, it went extremely well,” said Sayward resident Kim Boyes. “It didn’t hurt, just a little pinch. That’s it.”
“It’s a fantastic day, I’m sure glad that they decided to do it for communities,” said resident Joyce Ellis.
The small community of 321 people, and 200 more in the Sayward Valley, is the first whole community clinic put on by Island Health, meaning any resident 18 years of age and older can get vaccinated.
“People here are very excited especially people who have mobility issues or have difficulty getting into a major center,” said Mayor Mark Baker.
“I mean, we’re an hour away from Campbell River so some of the seniors and people with mobility issues are grateful that they don’t have to do that travel or try to figure out a way to get there to get their shot. So everybody is pretty excited about it.”
Island Health committed to community-wide clinics in places where there is a small population and where there are barriers to accessing larger immunization clinics such as requiring air, ferry or lengthy travel by ground to get there.
“I was happy to get it, and I’ll be happy when I get the second shot because it’s very very important,” said resident John MacDonald.
Baker says there hasn’t been a single case of COVID-19 in Sayward and the community has been vigilant, considering most people work outside the area. There is also no local shopping, so they have to go somewhere else for that as well.
“We’re so remote that it’s nice that they came to us and people don’t have to travel to Campbell River or farther,” said resident Sue Poulsen
Residents who received their first shots have now been told they’ll get the second shot in two to four months.
For a full list of Vancouver Island communities lined up to receive whole-community vaccinations, click here.