The Coast just lost its Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the Gibsons Legion. Volunteers who worked there last week were told they were no longer needed. People living on the Coast close to Gibsons who were eligible for a vaccine appointment this week were told to book a date in Sechelt.

This seems to have caused an unacceptable backlog in appointments. Vancouver Coastal Health should rethink the closure.

The situation hit home at 7:30 a.m. Monday when I tried to book an appointment. Vancouver Coastal Health’s Covid-19 website showed only the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre as a vaccination clinic for the Lower Coast, but the booking calendar for Sechelt didn’t work. I called the vaccination line and talked to a friendly representative named Mo.

Mo said there was an appointment available in Sechelt for April 15. However, he said, a glitch in the website had blocked Sechelt bookings. He said he’d make the booking himself and call me back to confirm it.

Some 90 minutes later he called with an April 27 appointment. It seemed, he said, that all Sechelt vaccinations between the 15th and 27th had been booked in that hour and a half.

I can see how that happened. Minutes before Mo called, I managed to get on the booking website again. A ticker indicated there were more than 7,500 people ahead of me.

As this story was being written the clinic situation on the Coast was in flux. Friday’s issue of the Coast Reporter newspaper is likely to have an update.

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry committed early this year to vaccinating everyone over age 65 by the end of April. I don’t see how that can be done without opening more vaccination clinics.

It’s a shame that the vaccination clinic at the Gibsons Legion has been closed. It’s a shame we have this pandemic haunting our beautiful community. The clinic had been vaccinating some 400 people a day. Vancouver Coastal Health should re-open it immediately.