Percentages of people aged 18-49 that have received two COVID vaccinations are very low in North Okanagan rural communities. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Enderby, Armstrong among fewest vaccinated in Interior Health

'I think we'll get there, but I don't think we'll get 100% vaccination rate,' says Enderby mayor

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccination progress, Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Enderby aren’t making much.

The communities sit at or near the bottom of 31 areas in Interior Health where vaccination progress is measured weekly in four age categories.

Enderby-Regional District of North Okanagan Electoral Area F is 31st out of 31 in three of the four age groups. For people 12 and older, 63 per cent have gotten one dose and 56 per cent have received two jabs. In the 18 and older category, 65 per cent have one dose and 58 per cent have received two doses. And for those 18-49, 47 per cent have received only one dose while 37 per cent have picked up two vaccines.

In the oldest group, 50 and over, 77 per cent have one dose (rank 30th) and 72 per cent (28th) have received two injections.

“I think we’ll get there (mid-70 per cent in all groups) but I don’t think we’ll get a 100-per-cent vaccination rate,” said Enderby Mayor Greg McCune, a local business owner. “I get both sides. I get there are those who have reasons for not getting vaccinated. If we get above 70 per cent vaccination, that’s a pretty good number.

“You look at Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It’s a phenomenal group that has done a great job over the years of getting the word out, you see the ads, but there are still people that drink and drive. I don’t know if we’d ever get a 100 per cent vaccination rate.”

In Armstrong, low percentages among the 18-49 demographic concern Mayor Chris Pieper. The latest weekly statistics show Armstrong-Spallumcheen has 56 per cent of that age group vaccinated once, and just 45 per cent with two shots. Both numbers have the municipalities ranked 26th out of 31.

“Our seniors are not too bad but the 18-49 numbers are very disappointing,” said Pieper. “Less than half the population have had two doses. I know there are medical reasons for not getting vaccinated but there are not that many reasons for not getting the vaccinations.”

Armstrong-Spallumcheen ranks 19th for the 50 and over group with 82 per cent having received one dosage, and 77 per cent has gotten two shots. The municipalities are 27th in both 18 and over (71 per cent one shot; 63 per cent two shots) and 12 and over (69 per cent, one shot; 61 per cent, two dosages).

Vernon’s 50 and over age group is 12th in both vaccination rates with 85 per cent having received one shot and 80 per cent have two shots. The 18 and over group is also 12 in both divisions (77 per cent, one shot; 69 per cent, two needles). For Vernon’s 12 and over, the 76 per cent one-shot rate is good for 12th place while the 68 per cent that have two dosages puts Vernon in 11th spot.

The 18-49 demographic is 16th for receiving two dosages (54 per cent) and 17th for getting only one shot (65 per cent).

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Vernon Morning Star