Numbers from the BC Centre for Disease Control show Chilliwack lagging behind much of the province in vaccinations.
As of Aug. 3, 71 per cent of Chilliwackians ages 12 and up had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among the 13 local health authorities (LHAs) in the Fraser Health Region, that’s tied with Mission for second worst.
Only Hope, at 69 per cent, has fewer vaccinated people.
In an effort to get more needles in arms as the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads, the provincial government touted Walk-In Wednesday on Aug. 4 as a day to get vaccinated at the Chilliwack Mall clinic without needing to register beforehand.
In a phone interview with The Progress on Aug. 3, BC Health Minister Adrian Dix said everyone has the right to not be vaccinated, but there will be consequences to that decision.
“People who are not vaccinated are not going to be able to travel outside of Canada,” he said. “No one is going to have an unvaccinated person come to their country, just as you have to be vaccinated for all kinds of other things to go to different countries in the world today.
“That’s not going to be acceptable, so we encourage people with questions to ask them and take advantage of all the opportunities to get vaccinated.”
Chilliwack’s vaccination rate has been going up slowly, advancing one per cent every week.
There is a clear demographic divide that mirrors a province-wide trend. While 83 per cent of residents who are 50 years or older have had their first shot, only 63 per cent of residents ages 18-49 can say the same.
A few minutes up the freeway, Abbotsford is sitting at 78 per cent first dose while the leader in the Fraser Health Region is Delta at 88 per cent.
The story is the same where second doses are concerned.
Chilliwack sits at 60 per cent, exceeding only Mission and Hope at 58 per cent each. Abbotsford is at 63 per cent and Agassiz/Harrison at 66 per cent.