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On your marks: Tri-City mayors join Fraser Health COVID-19 herd immunity challenge

Which community will win the race to reach the 70 to 80% immunization finish line?
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Tri-City residents line up for shots at a vaccine clinic in Coquitlam early in the campaign.

If the COVID-19 pandemic were a 400-metre race in the Olympics, one could say B.C. has made the final turn and is coming down the home stretch via its four-step restart plan announced Tuesday (May 25).

Of course, this is presuming there are no hiccups or trips in completing the final 100 metres. 

In keeping with the theme, Fraser Health is supporting a race between community mayors in its vicinity, including five in the Tri-City area, set as a friendly competition in the dash to herd immunity.

The finish line: a threshold of 70%, 75% or 80% herd immunity.

The purpose: encouraging residents to register for a vaccine in order to meet the province’s restart guide between now and September in hopes of returning to normal activities by the fall.

Anmore, Belcarra, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody are among the challengers.

As of this publication (May 27), about 68% of Tri-City residents aged 18 and older, broken down to five regions in the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) newest data, have received their first COVID-19 dose.

  • 65% = North Coquitlam
  • 65% = Southwest Coquitlam
  • 67% = Southeast Coquitlam
  • 72% = Port Coquitlam
  • 71% = Port Moody-Anmore-Belcarra

As of Tuesday, Fraser Health says more than 60% of those eligible to register and book a vaccine have been immunized — currently those aged 12 and older — equating to more than one million doses administered.

“Fraser Health has seen the highest case numbers in our province and it is all hands on deck as we work to provide COVID-19 vaccines to everyone in our region that wants one,” says president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee as there have been 83,334 lab-confirmed cases for the virus in the authority since the pandemic began.

“As an interconnected region, vaccines are important whether you live in a larger city or a smaller community area.”

Tri-City mayors are encouraging residents who haven’t registered to book a vaccination to do so by visiting B.C.’s Get Vaccinated page as part of the herd immunity challenge.

  • Anmore
  • Mayor John McEwen

“Playing Basketball for most of my life, I can assure you any shot is a good shot if you want to win!”

  • Belcarra
  • Mayor Jamie Ross

“I am pleased, as Mayor of Belcarra, to join with other Mayors in the Fraser Health Region to encourage our Belcarra residents to get immunized and be the first Community to herd immunity. Our collective action has helped us during this pandemic. It is time for us to rally our communities to get herd immunity – we are almost there!”

  • Coquitlam
  • Mayor Richard Stewart

“Science has done its part, Public Health has done its part and now, Coquitlam, we need to do our part. I had no hesitation about getting vaccinated myself and am proud to be contributing to immunity in our community. I am asking all Coquitlam residents who can be vaccinated, to register and get vaccinated. Let’s do everything we can to protect everyone in our community and get back to those activities that are important to us.”

  • Port Coquitlam
  • Mayor Brad West

“In Port Coquitlam, we always love a little friendly competition especially when it’s for an important cause. I encourage everyone who is eligible to get a vaccine to make sure they do so. The sooner we do, the sooner we can get back to doing the things we love and miss – from hugging grandparents, spending time with friends to watching our kids play sports.”

  • Port Moody
  • Mayor Rob Vagramov

“The sooner we achieve herd immunity, the sooner we can get our lives back on track!”

Fraser Health says updates on herd immunity via the community challenge will be updated regularly on social media. 

Other mayors participating include (in alphabetical order): 

  • Mayor Henry Braun, Abbotsford
  • Mayor Jonathan X. Coté, New Westminster
  • Mayor Bill Dingwall, Pitt Meadows
  • Mayor Leo Facio, Harrison Hot Springs
  • Mayor Jack Froese, Township of Langley
  • Mayor George V. Harvie, Delta
  • Mayor Paul Horn, Mission
  • Mayor Mike Hurley, Burnaby
  • Mayor Mike Morden, Maple Ridge
  • Mayor Ken Popove, Chilliwack
  • Mayor Sylvia Pranger, Kent
  • Mayor Peter Robb, Hope
  • Mayor Val van den Broek, City of Langley
  • Mayor Darryl Walker, White Rock