Walk-in Wednesday: No appointments necessary in B.C.'s COVID-19 clinics

British Columbians can get vaccinated for COVID-19 without an appointment Wednesday, as the province marks “Walk-in Wednesday.”

It’s part of a push to get more people inoculated, as case counts climb once again.

As of Tuesday 81.4 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 67.3 per cent were fully immunized.

“There's 20 per cent of the population British Columbia eligible to receive a vaccine that has not yet even received a first shot. Among that group, we think that about half of them are individuals that if you make it easy enough for them to get a shot, they will get it,” said Dr. Brian Conway, the medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Disease Centre.

Walk-in Wednesday is part of the Vax for B.C. campaign.

The drop-in clinics will be offering Pfizer and Moderna, with the goal of delivering 20,000 doses in one day.

This applies to first doses and anyone hoping to get their second, provided they received their first shot before June 16.

It comes as the province records an uptick in infections, particularly in the Interior Health Authority.

People who’ve missed getting a vaccine because of wildfire evacuations are being encouraged to participate.

Health officials say most new cases are among those who aren’t yet vaccinated.

“We’ll never force anyone to get vaccinated against their will. But I think this dialogue has not yet occurred in a meaningful way with that five per cent of really skeptical, hesitant individuals. And that's another approach that will be needed. So it's all of these things together, they'll get us over the finish line,” said Conway.

There will be more walk-in clinics offered in the coming weeks.

The province is moving away from mass vaccination clinics, and toward a more community-based approach.

“We know that for some people maybe they just haven’t gotten around to making an appointment, they are busy, they’re waiting to sort of see,” said Kathy Doull, operations director of the Vaccine Coordination Centre at Fraser Health.

“So we just want to make sure that you are not worried about, 'Can I get in? Will I have to wait in the long lineups?'”

Pop-up clinics will be brought to busy hubs like BC Ferries terminals to make the process more convenient and to make experts available to answer questions around vaccine hesitancy.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's St. John Alexander