Rosa Friedich receives one of the COVID-19 vaccines from nurse Shannon Perger on Wednesday at Mary Hall in Nelson. Photo: Tyler Harper

Rosa Friedich receives one of the COVID-19 vaccines from nurse Shannon Perger on Wednesday at Mary Hall in Nelson. Photo: Tyler Harper

At Nelson’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic, doses of hope

Approximately 150 people per day are receiving the vaccine in the city

In a quiet Nelson gymnasium, Linda Taylor sat alone and took in her surroundings.

The 83 year old had just received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and felt reflective. Only a year ago, as B.C. entered its lockdown, Taylor wasn’t sure when the pandemic would end. A vaccine in a year seemed unlikely.

Yet here she was Wednesday, with a Band-Aid on her left arm and plans for a second dose in four months.

“It’s so hard to believe it’s happened in one year,” said Taylor. “When you’ve lived as long as I have you think back to some of the other things that have happened in the world and it’s amazing that they are doing this in one year.”

Approximately 150 people per day have received vaccines at Selkirk College’s Mary Hall gymnasium in Nelson since it opened this month, according to prevention service assistant Benje Moricz.

The Ministry of Health announced Wednesday that 582,634 doses of vaccines had been administered in B.C. while also opening appointment bookings to people as young as 76, and to Indigenous peoples over the age of 55.

Moricz said the clinic, which runs daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., previously administered the Moderna vaccine before Interior Health started sending the Pfizer doses instead.

No one appeared to be picky about which they were getting Wednesday.

Gloria Currie, 86, said she was relieved to receive the vaccine but downplayed its immediate impact until she had both doses.

She still allowed herself to look ahead to the days when she can revive her social life. Concerts, movies and garden shows were the things she longed to visit once more. “All that stuff, that’s what I miss,” said Currie.

Vicki Hanneson was among the few people at the clinic receiving the vaccine who wasn’t a senior. Hanneson is a dental assistant, which makes her an essential service worker. Although she was happy to be vaccinated, COVID-19 precautions in her workplace meant she never felt unsafe.

“I think the first couple days I went back to work, which was the beginning of June, I started to feel a lot more comfortable with the way things are being handled, especially in our area.”

Vicki Hanneson, a local dental assistant, was among the younger people at the clinic receiving the vaccine. Photo: Tyler Harper

Vicki Hanneson, a local dental assistant, was among the younger people at the clinic receiving the vaccine. Photo: Tyler Harper

On the other side of the needle was nurse Shannon Perger. It was her 25th birthday, and she could have taken the day off. Instead, Perger volunteered to take a shift in the gym.

Some visitors have received the vaccine as if it were a mundane chore to complete. But for others, Perger said, the visit to the clinic has been an emotional experience.

“We’ve had many people in tears as they receive their vaccine,” said Perger. “For some it’s their first time getting out of their house so it’s like a celebratory day. Some people sit in the chair and they really open up to you. They let you know they’ve had family members who passed away because of COVID. It’s a special moment to be a part of that.”

There will be more special moments to come.

Rose Friedich was among the people vaccinated in Nelson on Wednesday. She spent 2020 isolated from her children and unable to fill her days with the volunteer work she cherishes.

But after being vaccinated, she glanced out the gymnasium window where flurries were ruining an early spring morning and still managed to feel some hope for days ahead.

“When the sun is shining,” she said, “one feels better.”

To register for an appointment at the clinic, call Interior Health at 1-877-740-7747 any time between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Selkirk’s Mary Hall building parking lot can be accessed by turning off Elwyn Street onto Fell Street in Fairview. Visitors are asked to arrive on time for their appointment.

READ MORE:

Rural West Kootenay residents as young as 18 to receive COVID-19 vaccine in April

Worrisome COVID-19 trends reported amid new vaccine supply concerns

Hard-hit hospitality companies help with B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccinations

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Linda Taylor smiles as a nurse covers her arm with a Band-Aid. “It feels like a first step to getting better and helping to keep everybody else better,” she said. Photo: Tyler Harper

Linda Taylor smiles as a nurse covers her arm with a Band-Aid. “It feels like a first step to getting better and helping to keep everybody else better,” she said. Photo: Tyler Harper

Just Posted

.
Kootenay Boundary COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Four new cases in Castlegar last week

t
Q&A with the Castlegar council candidates

Four candidates are running for one council seat

Email editor@fedwaymirror.com
LETTER: Covid blame should fall on leaders, not youth

Reader Rod Retzlaff blames leaders for COVID variant spread

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Most Read