By Laura Keil

Northern Health is inviting seniors aged 80 and older and Indigenous people aged 65 and older to book an appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccine at one of more than 30 vaccine clinic locations across the region, including two in the Robson Valley.

The Northern call centre opened Monday March 8, for seniors aged 90 and older and Indigenous peoples aged 65 and older. Starting Wednesday March 10th, Robson Valley residents over 80 can call. The call centre is open daily 7am to 7pm PST, and clinic locations will be confirmed at the time of booking. The number to call in Northern Health is 1-844-255-7555.

For Blue River residents, the number to call for Interior Health is 1-877-740-7747.

Valemount area residents will receive their vaccine at the Golden Year’s Lodge on Main Street. McBride area residents will receive their vaccine at the McBride and District Hospital.

Northern Health said some communities may have different directions and eligibility for vaccines. The full list of clinic locations and eligibility schedules is available on the Northern Health COVID-19 Vaccine Plan web page.

“Our goal is to administer nearly 15,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses through Phase 2 clinics, between March 15 and April 10, 2021,” a Northern Health press release said. “As BC’s vaccine program continues to expand, our capacity will expand with several mass clinics opening by mid-April.”

Vaccine call centres are expected to have high call volumes and Northern Health warns residents not to call early. “Everyone who is eligible to book a vaccination appointment will be able to do so, and nobody will miss the chance to get the vaccine when a new phase starts,” a press release said. “Once you become eligible, you are always eligible.”

Northern Health also encourages reaching out to family, friends and neighbours to see if they need help booking an appointment.

For more information, what you should have ready, and step-by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment for yourself, for a family member, for a friend or neighbour, please visit the BC Seniors First website.

When you call
When you call your health authority, you’ll be asked for:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Postal code
  • Personal Health Number ( If you don’t have a Personal Health Number, you can still receive the vaccine).
  • You can find your Personal Health Number on the back of your B.C. driver’s licence, BC Services Card or CareCard.

We’ll also ask you for contact information:

  • An email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages

Northern Health will never ask you for your SIN, driver’s licence number or banking and credit card details.

Arrive prepared
Get ready for your appointment:

  • Wear a short-sleeved shirt and a mask
  • Arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment time
  • You can bring one person with you for support.

All clinics are wheelchair accessible. You will be provided a mask if you need one.

During the appointment
At the clinic you will:

  • Complete a check-in process
  • Get your vaccine dose
  • Wait in an observation area for about 15 minutes

You can expect to be at the clinic for 30 to 60 minutes in total.

Still have questions?
Talk to a Service BC agent about non-health related information and services related to COVID-19. Service is available 7:30 am to 8 pm. Call: 1-888-COVID19