The protests outside vaccine clinics in Prince George yesterday (Monday) have gained provincial attention, with Minister of Health Adrian Dix condemning any harassment towards parents and kids.

“Getting a vaccine can be a stressful experience for some children and parents, needless to say to begin with. And they don’t need the added stress that being confronted presents.”

Dix said people have the right to differing opinions, but they need to make sure people feel safe.

“We also have the obligation to ensure that healthcare staff and vaccine clinic patrons feel safe and are able to access our services and do their work without being obstructed, or confronted, or made to feel unsafe.”

“Bothering people at vaccine clinics, especially parents with their children, and bothering children is not acceptable, and I know everyone agrees with that,” added Dix.

He said that the vaccine program for children 5-11 is going well, with 134,894 children registered in the program, 113,121 have their appointments booked, and 33,186 vaccines have been given to kids in that age range.

Dr Bonnie Henry said vaccine clinics for children can range, and that they’re trying to accommodate parents as best they can.

“And yes, for some people that may mean a bit of a distance. But they’re not only large clinics, there’s small clinics, there’s multiple clinics in different areas at different times, so we are trying to address the needs in every specific community.”

In regards to the restrictions in place across the province, Henry said she doesn’t expect to increase restrictions at all.

“I don’t intend to put on more restrictions, we’ve got the basis in place right now, we’ve got very high levels of immunization.”

Henry also reminded residents to stay home if they feel sick, regardless of whether they think it’s COVID-19 or not.

Henry also spoke about the increased restrictions in Northern Health, saying that the efforts made in some portions of the province matter.

“It makes a difference that it’s up to 90% in Prince George, and it just got there quite recently. And it makes a difference in every community where vaccination has increased.”

Henry added that community transmission is still taking off in some portions of Northern Health, and the healthcare system in the north is also still stressed.

Dix said that Prince George is an important centre for all of the north, but that he was also impressed with the vaccination numbers coming from Fort St John and Kitimat.