Local vaccination rates continue to be low compared to other areas. (File photo/Lakes District News)

Local vaccination rates continue to be low compared to other areas. (File photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake vaccination rates

Local area among the lowest rate of vaccination in region

As of Nov. 24, vaccination rates among eligible individuals ages 18 and over are lower than the regional average.

According to North Health weekly vaccination report, Burns Lake town centre has 84 per cent of eligible people ages 18 or over with one dose, and 77 per cent fully vaccinated. In Burns Lake South, however, there are 66 per cent with one shot and 63 per cent who are fully vaccinated, and in Burns Lake North there are 75 per cent with one dose, and 71 per cent fully vaccinated.

To put all that into perspective, there are 31 total areas that fall within the Northern Health region. Of those 31 areas, Burns Lake South has the second lowest rate of vaccination for the the first dose and the lowest for the second, and is one of only two areas that are currently below 70 per cent people with at least one dose.

Burns Lake North is tied for the third lowest vaccination rate amongst eligible people older than 18 in the region for dose number one, and is tied for the fifth lowest rate of full vaccination.

Burns Lake town centre is much higher in comparison, but sits outside the top ten areas for percentage of eligible people 18 and older with the both the first and second dose.

For ages 12-17, Burns Lake town centre is 69 per cent vaccinated with one dose and 60 per cent fully vaccinated. Burns Lake North is at 54 per cent with one dose and 47 with two, and Burns Lake South currently has just 40 per cent of eligible people ages 12-17 with one dose and 32 per cent with two.

A renewed public health order went into effect on Nov. 18, limiting gatherings and events because of low rates for large parts of the north stretching east of Kitwanga through Prince George.

First put in place Oct. 15, the orders place restrictions on liquor sales and private gatherings. The orders were to expire Nov. 19 but have now been renewed indefinitely.

“At this time, NH medical health officers have determined there remains a need for regional public health measures to limit transmission, reduce case counts, and reduce rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the North,” the Northern Health Authority said in a Nov. 18 news release.

Bars and night clubs and restaurants that use B.C.’s vaccine card for access must stop alcohol sales at 10 p.m while religious services are to be virtual only.

Personal gatherings are restricted to 25 or fewer people who are fully vaccinated, and those who have an unvaccinated person in their household are required to stay within their households.

From early fall, health authorities have regularly been flying COVID-19 patients to southern health care facilities to ease the strain on intensive care units in northern hospitals.

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READ MORE: B.C. gearing up to deliver COVID-19 vaccination to younger children

With notes from Rod Link