Sun, sand and COVID-19 shots: B.C. health authority opening beach-side vaccine clinics

Docks along the shore of Cutus Lake. (Cultus Lake Community Association)

Health officials are bringing COVID-19 vaccine to some popular beaches in B.C.'s Lower Mainland next week in a push to get more people immunized.

Fraser Health is setting up walk-in clinics at Surrey's Crescent Beach and at Cultus Lake, near Chilliwack, in the hopes of attracting beachgoers who haven't yet received a shot, particularly young adults and families.

"These easily accessible, beach-side clinics aim to meet people where they are, or will be, congregating during the summer season," the health authority said in a news release.

The clinics are available to anyone age 12 and up who is eligible for a vaccine.

The Crescent Beach clinic will be operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at 12150 Beacher St. The Cultus Lake location will be operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the main beach.

It's unclear whether the beach-side clinics might return again over the summer. Fraser Health called the program "another example of unique immunization clinics" designed to ensure everyone has access to vaccines in the region.

Last month, health officials held an all-night "Vax-a-thon" event at the Guildford Recreation Centre in Surrey that included live musical performances, door prizes and a selfie station. Some 7,000 people received a shot at the clinic over 32 hours.

As of Friday, a total of 5,124,693 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered across British Columbia, including enough first doses to cover nearly 79 per cent of adults.