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Child immunization hub created as Fraser Health closes one Coquitlam COVID-19 vaccine clinic

More than 26,000 inoculations were given during the Poirier Forum's second stint as a larger clinic in Fraser Health.
Coquitlam Poirier clinic
The Poirier Forum in Coquitlam was used as a larger COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic in summer 2021 and winter 2022.

Eligible Tri-City residents over the age of 12 are above the 90 per cent double-vaccination threshold against COVID-19.

And while there's been some movement, that number hasn't entirely changed for several weeks.

Fraser Health says it's now shifting its immunization strategy in order to meet what demand is left with a new initiative that focuses on child vaccinations — including those administered during the school year.

As a result, the authority says the Poirier Forum station in Coquitlam has officially closed after serving a second season as a larger immunization clinic in January and February.

The mass immunization and testing centre will stay open in the Coquitlam Central SkyTrain station's overflow park-and-ride lot, and local pharmacies will also continue to administer vaccines against COVID-19.

See schedule and information at the bottom of the article.

"As we looked at each of the communities, we do have a number of pharmacies that are offering the COVID vaccine as well," explains Sarah Siebert, Fraser Health's director of COVID-19 vaccine and testing centre operations, in an interview with the Tri-City News.

"So we are planning for the next couple of months to be able to offer the childhood immunizations. We are wanting to provide this easy opportunity for children and youth really to get caught up on all of their immunizations."

Starting March 14, a new clinic is set to open in the Poirier Admin Building (640 Poirier St.) for children as young as four months old to receive any of the following immunizations:

  • COVID-19 vaccine
    • For eligible children and adolescents aged five and older
  • Tdap-IPV vaccine
    • Protects against tetanus diphtheria, whooping cough and polio
  • MMRV vaccine
    • Protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox

"So offering the opportunity, we have learned a lot as we run mass immunization clinics with COVID," adds Siebert. 

"We're taking those learnings to apply and be able to offer larger scale immunizations to get kids caught up with their regular immunizations."

As of this publication (March 4), Tri-City kids between five and 11 have a 33 per cent second-dose average rate against COVID-19.

This includes 43 per cent in Port Moody/Anmore/Belcarra, 31 per cent in Coquitlam and 30 per cent in Port Coquitlam.

School-aged children currently have a 90 per cent double-vaccination average and a 36 per cent triple-vaxxed rate.

Siebert says its encouraging to see young children choosing to get vaccinated, noting it's not just for themselves, but for loved ones and others as well.

"So, excited that we've been able to offer this and this number of individuals have come, and now we're able to work in collaboration with the pharmacies to continue to support people to come and get their vaccines."

She tells the Tri-City News more than 26,000 first, second and booster doses against COVID-19 were distributed at Poirier Forum between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28.

The 25,000 sq.ft. covered outdoor facility served a longer term as a clinic for Fraser Health between May and September 2021.

You can click here to book an immunization appointment for your child at the Poirier Admin Building.

Parents and guardians seeking vaccinations for children under four months old are asked to book appointments with a family physician, nurse practitioner or local public health unit.

The Coquitlam Central immunization centre's operating hours and entry instructions are as follows:

  • 2900 Barnet Hwy.
  • 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. = Monday to Friday
  • 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. = Saturdays and Sundays
    • Entrance off Mariner Way – east side of Rona. Proceed down the ramp and turn right
    • The address will direct you to the main lot on the left but COVID-19 Services are located in the overflow lot to the right
    • Do not cut through the Rona parking lot. Please follow the signs

Anyone seeking a vaccine against COVID-19 is encouraged to register via B.C.'s GetVaccinated online portal or call 1-833-838-2323.

You can also visit the province's website for more information on its COVID-19 immunization plan.