The Smithers mass vaccination clinic for COVID-19 is among other communities across the North which is ahead of the provincial schedule.

As of Tuesday afternoon (May 4), Smithers residents 40 and older are able to book a vaccine appointment where, provincially the age where residents can book a vaccine appointment is 52.

According to Northern Health Spokesperson, Eryn Collins Smithers is not the only community which is ahead of the provincial schedule.

She said the reason why most Northern communities are ahead of schedule is because of the population and the size of the demographic.

“In some communities where a community may be more remote or have less access to health care services so, when it doesn’t make sense to go back repeatedly to immunize smaller groups of people we have taken a whole community approach,” Collins said.

She added that in some cases Northern Health has moved quicker to vaccinating residents, so they have moved to the next age group.

According to Collins, it all comes down to the vaccine supply and planning based on how many people are eligible for a vaccine.

She also said the health authority is working hard to get everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine by the summer.

“We are working to get everyone their first dose by sometime in June, Canada Day at the latest but depending on the vaccine supply that comes and our ability to ramp up and adjust our clinics to allow us to process more appointments,” Collins said.

Anyone wishing to register for a vaccine can do so on the Get Vaccinated website or by phone at 1-833-838-2323.