A group of North Okanagan politicians is speaking out about the low COVID-19 vaccination rates in their communities.
They are urging their constituents to get vaccinated.
“If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for everybody else,” said Denis Delisle, the electoral area director for the rural Enderby area.
In the latest data, Enderby has the lowest two-dose vaccination rate for those 12 and over in the Interior.
Only 54 per cent of eligible people in the Enderby local health area had two doses as of August 17.
The Armstrong and Spallumcheen region is also near the bottom of the 31 local health areas in Interior Health.
Sixty per cent of those eligible in the Armstrong and Spallumcheen areas were fully vaccinated as of August 17.
In contrast, Revelstoke had the highest vaccine rate in the Interior with 76 per cent of those 12 and over fully vaccinated.
Pieper pointed out the vaccination rates are particularly poor amongst adults under the age of 50.
In Enderby, 35 per cent of those aged 18-49 were fully vaccinated by Aug. 17.
In Armstrong and Spallumcheen, that number was 42 per cent.
Meanwhile, 73 per cent of adults aged 18 to 49 in Revelstoke had two doses by Aug. 17.
Exactly why the vaccine uptake has been low has some politicians scratching their heads.
“Everyone I talk to doesn’t know why. Everybody is a neighbour there. It is a really friendly community,” said Delisle.
However, Christine Fraser, the mayor of Spallumcheen, believes her area’s major industry might provide some explanation.
“We just encourage everybody, when you do have a little bit of downtime, to make sure you get in, go to the clinics, get vaccinated if you are able to.”
Fraser’s confident the numbers will go up, but others are concerned about what might happen if North Okanagan vaccine rates don’t increase.
“We will see more sick people. We will see more families impacted,” cautioned Delisle.