Mobile clinic provides COVID-19 vaccinations at Edmonton encampments

A COVID-19 vaccination program has expanded to reach Edmontonians living in encampments.

More than 1,700 Edmontonians have been vaccinated through the program

Boyle Street community members lined up outside a mobile clinic to get vaccinated on Thursday. (Nathan Gross/CBC News)

Chrissy Dachuk was pleased to come across a van outside Boyle McCauley Community Centre offering COVID-19 vaccinations.

A grandmother with asthma who has already gone one round with coronavirus, Dachuk was anxious to be fully protected.

Within minutes, she was at the front of the line, screened and injected.

"I'm really happy and I'm going to let people know that they're here," Dachuk told CBC News, as community members milled about, socializing and coming in and out of a nearby encampment.

"It's so important because there are not a lot of people that will even just leave this area to go get it. They don't leave here at all — a lot of the elders. So for somebody to be able to come here and do this for everyone, it's great."

Chrissy Dachuk received her second dose outside Boyle McCauley Community Centre on Thursday. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

The program launched by Boyle McCauley Health Centre has delivered 1,736 shots since April. Moving from shelter to shelter, this week they took the vaccination campaign on the road.

Staffed by nurses, the mobile clinic has reached dozens more people in encampments on city streets and in the river valley.

"Not everyone's really comfortable all the time being in the shelter and as the weather is nicer, people are outside so we're going where they are," said Jackie Liu, spokesperson for Boyle McCauley Health Centre.

Licensed practical nurse Sabrina Anderson says they've received a warm welcome and even invitations inside tents from those wanting vaccinations.

"They're very, very grateful which is so nice to see," said Anderson. "A lot of our patients now qualify for their second dose and they're so excited."

LPN Sabrina Anderson says they've received a warm reception from clients. (Nathan Gross/CBC)