Salmon Arm mayor and council have taken to video to implore citizens to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Council members took turns in front of the camera to provide their rationale for urging vaccination.
Coun. Debbie Cannon spoke of the need to protect health-care workers.
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren noted that vaccines are not approved for children 12 and under, so being vaccinated is the best way to protect them.
Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond spoke of the high financial cost of getting the virus as opposed to being vaccinated.
Coun. Kevin Flynn spoke to the science which convinced his son to get vaccinated, and said vaccination is the best way to protect grandchildren.
Coun. Tim Lavery suggested residents get vaccinated for themselves, for their loved ones and for building community immunity.
Coun. Chad Eliason was unable to attend but Mayor Alan Harrison said he is a younger member of council who shares the vision and has been double vaccinated.
Harrison then warned of the rising weekly cases of COVID-19 in Salmon Arm’s local health area.
From Aug. 15 to 21, 79 new cases were reported in the area, the highest weekly rate in the previous 16 months.
From Aug. 8 to 14, the number of new cases was 48. From Aug. 1 to 7, that number was 24. Back in May and June the number of new weekly cases was down to one or two cases per week.
Harrison wrapped up the video by saying council’s message to those people who are double vaccinated is ‘thank you for making that choice.’
For those who aren’t: “We implore you, if you haven’t had the opportunity, it’s easy. Twenty minutes, walk in and you can get your vaccine.”
In an earlier interview, Harrison provided his thoughts on the COVID-19 passport plan to the Observer.
He supports it, saying the city’s restaurants, pubs and theatres cannot withstand another complete shutdown.
“The city will do its part by following the order requiring patrons to be vaccinated at gyms, pools and recreation facilities,” he wrote in an email.
“I am concerned and worried that if vaccination rates in the IH region do not increase, the positive COVID numbers are going to continue to trend upwards. I worry especially for our youth, up to age 12, who cannot be vaccinated.”
He said although many Salmon Arm residents have been vaccinated, further COVID outbreaks and corresponding orders would be difficult for everyone, particularly following a horrific wildfire summer.
“Vaccination is the way through this pandemic,” he concluded, encouraging those who are hesitant, to research from reliable, science-based sources such as the BC Centre for Disease Control.
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