Moving the Needle

Canada’s only drop-in immunization clinic opens

Vaccines are among the greatest medical achievements of the century—preventing infectious diseases and saving countless lives. But in BC, a third of kids under the age of two aren’t up to date on them.

That’s especially alarming in a hospital since kids with complex medical problems are more vulnerable to complications. So, we opened a storefront immunization clinic right in ours. It’s the second of its kind in the world, and offers all publicly-funded vaccinations to kids and their family members and friends. They can either make a pre-booked appointment or just pop by when they’re here.

“We’re unique in that we’re focusing on the whole family—patients, siblings, families and friends,” said Dr. Manish Sadarangani, the director of the Vaccine Evaluation Center. “For us, a big part of protecting kids is protecting everyone around them.”

Since it opened in October, over 2,000 patients and family members have been vaccinated—with more flu shots given to patients than in any previous year. The clinic is part of a larger immunization project that includes working to expand its outreach across the province, train the next generation of experts, and provide immunization counselling to kids with complex conditions.

The clinic was made possible thanks to a transformational gift from lead benefactor Save-On-Foods as part of their funding for the five-part immunization project and specialized equipment.

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