The press release went out yesterday…and then the phone calls, Facebook comments and emails.
“I phoned the number for vaccine appointments this morning and the gal on the phone told me the Peachland location is not offered,” one subscriber wrote this morning.
“Maybe you can find out why?”
Sure thing. The Peachland Wellness Centre’s Christina MacMaster answered right away when I rang. A little over 24 hours after announcing Peachland is getting its own COVID vaccination clinic, it appears our town doesn’t exist in the provincial booking system.
“I just got an email response from Interior Health and they said there is a system changeover happening this weekend and that might be part of why,” MacMaster says.
“But I’m told it has been put into the system so it’s just a matter of the system catching up with the information. So we’re just supposed to tell people to keep trying and if they can’t get through today, for sure by Tuesday it will all be fixed.”
Yesterday and today have been a bit stressful, says MacMaster – her husband is trying to get booked into the Peachland clinic too. It was Thursday evening when she got the call the clinic was happening here.
“I went into work yesterday (Friday), me and one other staff person went in to do everything and then yesterday evening I started getting these messages that people can’t get an appointment and that there’s no Peachland listed – I’m just beside myself with it.”
MacMaster said she, Ben Stringer from the District of Peachland and Mayor Cindy Fortin were all in on the planning meeting with Interior Health.
“You know, we were all pretty clear that if we could be ready on our end that yes, they could make sure it was ready,” says MacMaster.
And despite the technical issues right now – “just keep trying, and if they can’t get through today, for sure by Tuesday it will all be fixed” – MacMaster says the April 8 and 15 clinics WILL go ahead.
“There is no question in my mind about that, at all,” she says.
“There are ten nurses who are going to be here with all their equipment and provisions.”
UPDATE: I called and left a voice mail for Mayor Cindy Fortin Saturday afternoon asking whether she has anything to say about people not being able to get an appointment. She didn’t address that, but in a text message Sunday morning, mentioned she put out a Facebook post announcing the clinic on Saturday afternoon.
“I was initially disappointed that all the other communities in the Central Okanagan were getting one but not Peachland. So I kept pressing Interior Health for one. I made several requests of Interior Health, empathizing the importance of having a clinic in our community…especially for those people who have difficulty travelling..but ideally for all, once they are eligible.”
She went on to say she’s pleased the clinic is coming to town and commended Interior Health, the Peachland Wellness Centre (which she felt was the best resource to get all this going), the fire department and Ben Stringer with the District of Peachland, “for taking on this momentous task.”
…I’ll have more as this story develops. In fact, by the time you read this, Peachland may well be on the clinic list.
Again the details on current vaccine eligibility and appointments:
April 8, 2021 and April 15, 2021
Location: Peachland Community Centre – entry through the side doors facing the Yellow School House.
Time: by appointment only, by calling in at the provincial booking system. The phone booking option is available at 1-877-740-7747, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Age category for eligible citizens are those born in 1949 (72 years old)
- Clinically Vulnerable individuals (they would have received a letter form the province
with directions on how to access an appointment)
- Health Care Workers
- Aboriginal Populations 18+ years old