Interior Health cites website error in Revelstoke COVID-19 vaccine clinic confusion

Interior Health lowers COVID-19 general eligibility age to 50-plus for Revelstoke, citing "increased COVID-19 activity in Revelstoke." Interior Health says an error on its website was the cause of some confusion when it temporarily said people aged 18-plus could book an appointment.

Downtown Revelstoke pictured on April 1, 2021. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Interior Health said an error on its website was the cause of confusion today as the health authority lowered the eligibility age for COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Revelstoke on April 1.

Mid-day, Revelstoke Mountaineer received messages from readers who pointed out that the Interior Health (IH) website where COVID-19 vaccination information is listed stated that anyone 18-plus could book an appointment.

Until today, only residents aged 72-plus were able to book.

Sometime later, the website was updated to say Aboriginal people aged 18-plus and everyone else aged 50-plus could book an appointment.

However, in the meantime, it appears that non-Aboriginal people aged 18-plus were able to book appointments, and we’ve seen one booking confirmation notice for someone aged between 18 and 49. It’s unclear how many people in that age range booked an appointment today.

IH spokesperson Karl Hardt said the confusion was caused by an erroneous update to the website. “For a brief period, it seems the website did not specify the 18+ was specific to the Aboriginal population,” he wrote in response to our questions about the situation.

Hardt said the change to allow residents 50-plus to book a vaccination was, “based on increased COVID-19 activity in Revelstoke,” which has prompted IH to move to a “community-specific immunization approach.”

There was no media release from IH about the change to age eligibility requirements; all information from IH in this story was gathered by inquiring with the IH communication department after we heard of the changes.

Some residents aged 50-plus reported that they had tried to book an appointment, but none were available, and were told to call back at a later date.

IH said that additional clinics are being planned and that it would update us when they are available.

Revelstoke Mountaineer inquired about what people aged 18 to 49 who have booked an appointment should do, but we posed our question late in the day and nobody from Interior Health was immediately available to respond.

To book an appointment, eligible individuals should call 1-877-740-7747 between 7 a.m. and 7  p.m., PDT, seven days a week. Revelstoke vaccination clinics are based in the Revelstoke Community Centre.

Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's been on the news beat in Revelstoke for the past 14 years, serving in senior editorial roles. If you have or call/text him at 250-814-8710.