Dozens show up for vaccine

Between 50 and 60 people, aged 15 to 19, showed up to Penticton Health Centre on Saturday for a meningococcal immunization clinic, according to an employee at the centre.

The vaccination clinic was one of three arranged at health centres in the Okanagan on Saturday, amidst an outbreak of meningococcal disease in the region.

Patricia Park with Interior Health said the health centre in Penticton wasn't sure heading in how many people would come to the clinic for vaccines, as it was only arranged when IH declared the outbreak two days ago.

Park said she anticipates more demand for vaccinations in the coming weeks, with many students in that age group likely coming home for the holidays from post-secondary school. 

The health centre in Penticton will be hosting immunization clinics again on Dec. 27, 28 and 29. People aged 15 to 19 can schedule appointments or drop in to receive a vaccination.

In the South Okanagan, IH also held a vaccination clinic at Summerland Secondary School on Friday.

IH will further be hosting clinics on Monday at Similkameen Elementary-Secondary School in Keremeos and Princeton Secondary School, as well as Penticton Secondary School on Tuesday and Princess Margaret Secondary School on Wednesday.

To date this year, there have been 11 confirmed cases of meningococcal disease in the Okanagan — largely in the age group of 15 to 19. 

One teenager has died since being diagnosed with the disease, and a young woman is currently in a medically-induced coma following her diagnosis. 

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