The Kelowna Yacht Club has been transformed into a drop-in vaccine clinic

Downtown vax clinic opens

The Kelowna Yacht Club has been transformed into a drop-in vaccine clinic.

Interior Health has teamed up with the Downtown Kelowna Association and the Kelowna Yacht Club to open the clinic following the recent sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the Central Okanagan.

“When we recognized that we were seeing an increase in cases, we knew that we had to start looking at things we weren't already doing," said Danielle Cameron, executive director of clinical operations with Interior Health.

"With the outbreak, our target population is that 20- to 40-year-old range, and we were looking for a way to make it easy for people to access their immunizations. Here at the yacht club you can access your immunization by just walking in."

Having the clinic in an area that sees thousands of people walking past its doors daily was a big deciding factor in having it inside the yacht club.

“We immediately thought this would be the right place," said Thom Killingsworth, the executive director of the Kelowna Yacht Club.

"We’re right downtown, and our members are always willing to do the right thing for the community, so it was an easy yes, and we're really glad to see that people are coming out right away."

Killingsworth also said that two of his staff members recently tested positive for the virus, so the club’s member lounge has been closed since July 25. He says they will likely reopen on Aug. 6, but the boating school, cafe, and marina are still open.

Many who were in line to receive their vaccine appeared eager to finally get back to a sense of normalcy. Ben Stunden is a local music producer who requires the vaccine to travel to different venues. He says that getting the vaccine is just the right thing to do.

“Basically I just want it to make it easier for myself to travel, and also just because it's the moral right thing to do," Stunden said.

"I mean really, who enjoys staying at home and having to put masks back on. I used to play basketball in university and it's just kind of one of those team player aspects you know?”

Stunden said he's not too concerned about getting sick, but he's more worried about getting others sick.

The walk-in immunization clinic will be open from July 30 to Aug.4, from 3 until 7 p.m. The clinic dates may be extended if necessary. No appointment is needed, and those who've already got their first dose can get their second dose after 28 days.

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