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IH administers first COVID-19 vaccines

Testing is available for people with new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms.
Charmane Lazzarotto receives the first dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Kelowna, Tuesday, Dec. 22. Photo: Interior Health

Interior Health (IH) is celebrating a milestone in the fight against COVID-19, the first vaccinations occurred in Kelowna and Kamloops last week.

As part of the provincial COVID-19 immunization program, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been received and is being administered to long-term care staff and physicians.

“You have no idea what this means to me,” said Charmane Lazzarotto, first vaccine recipient in Kelowna on Dec. 22.

“As a health care aide, I care for vulnerable people every day and knowing I can protect them by preventing the spread of COVID-19 is an incredible feeling. I am so happy to be safer, feel safer, and be part of history as we fight COVID-19.”

As vaccine arrives each week, Interior Health looks forward to expanding staff clinics throughout IH.

“In Kamloops we have worked so hard, especially in long-term care, to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Kelsey Medhurst, first vaccine recipient in Kamloops. “Having this vaccine available will help protect the most vulnerable loved ones in our lives and I encourage everyone to get one.”

Interior Health reminds everyone that vaccine roll-out will be a gradual process and it is very important to stay focused on observing all of the public health guidance that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone in all communities should remain vigilant in following COVID-19 precautions: keep to your household bubbles and avoid social gatherings; stay home when you are sick, and get tested if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID; practice physical distancing and use a mask if you cannot; and wash your hands often.

Testing is available for people with new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms.

Seek a test immediately if you have one or more of these key symptoms: fever and chills; cough; loss of sense of taste or smell; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Seek a test if you have two or more of the following symptoms for more than 24 hours, and they are not related to any other pre-existing conditions: sore throat; loss of appetite; extreme fatigue or tiredness; headache; body aches; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

You can book an appointment online through the COVID-19 Test Booking Form at

Or call the COVID-19 Test Booking Line at 1.877.740.7747 for assistance with booking your test.

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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