The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association summer interns have launched their “Soon Immune” project, which includes enamel pins with the phrase “Relax, I’m Vaxxed” in the hopes of encourage more youth to get vaccinated. (Submitted photo: Kitty Cheung)

The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association summer interns have launched their “Soon Immune” project, which includes enamel pins with the phrase “Relax, I’m Vaxxed” in the hopes of encourage more youth to get vaccinated. (Submitted photo: Kitty Cheung)

Downtown Surrey BIA launches ‘Soon Immune’ project with student interns

Vaccination rates for Surrey residents increase by 3% from previous week

Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association interns have launched a new project in the hopes of getting more young people vaccinated.

The eight-person (which includes Kitty Cheung, Tessa Angelis, Verna Tran, Stefanie Peng, Rebeka Roga, Sherine Jeevakumar, Kaylee Chan and Theo Tang) team has launched “Soon Immune,” partnering with SFU Surrey.

The team has designed a limited-edition set of stickers and enamel pins for vaccine clinics. They will also be handing out vouchers for downtown businesses.

The team will be at the Surrey North vaccine clinic (the old Best Buy at 10025 King George Blvd.) on Aug. 9 and 10 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People can win $5 Tim Hortons vouchers, a “Relax, I’m Vaxxed” enamel pin or Soon Immunue stickers.

Kitty Cheung, a graphic design intern and lead on the project, said the idea for Soon Immune start a couple months ago earlier in her co-op term in May when Fraser Health had reached out to different post-secondary institutions to find out how to encourage youth vaccinations.

“I don’t know exactly how effective this will be in actually converting people or getting people to come out, especially if they’re already in an anti-vaccination mindset,” Cheung noted, “but we’re mostly trying to target people who have not come out yet because they’re a bit more passive about it or hesitant.”

Tessa Angelis, another intern on the team and a marketing major student, said the team brainstormed ideas on “how do we make people feel like they’d be missing out if they don’t get their first and second doses.”

By creating TikTok videos and Reels on Instagram, Angelis said they’re trying to show people what they could be missing out on if they haven’t been vaccinated yet.

Angelis said the COVID-19 pandemic is in a “different place” than when they first started brainstorming, but it’s still important that post-secondary students increase their vaccine rates.

In the last few weeks, COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising across the province despite second-dose vaccination rates also being on the rise.

Vaccination rates for eligible Surrey residents has increased by about three per cent from last week, according to the latest data from the BC Centre for Disease Control’s regional surveillance dashboard.

Rates for second doses for 12-plus as of Aug. 2 are: North Surrey (63 per cent), Whalley (66 per cent), Guildford (68 per cent), West Newton (66 per cent), East Newton (68 per cent), Fleetwood (73 per cent), Cloverdale (73 per cent), Panorama (73 per cent) and South Surrey (75 per cent).

That’s about 69 per cent of those who are 12-plus who are fully vaccinated, which is up three per cent from July 26. First doses are at 86 per cent, which is up about one per cent from the previous reporting period.

READ ALSO: 66% of eligible Surrey residents are fully vaccinated, July 30, 2021

Rates for those fully vaccinated for 18-plus as of Aug. 2 are: North Surrey (65 per cent), Whalley (68 per cent), Guildford (71 per cent), West Newton (69 per cent), East Newton (71 per cent), Fleetwood (75 per cent), Cloverdale (75 per cent), Panorama (75 per cent) and South Surrey (77 per cent).

That’s about 72 per cent of those who are 18-plus who are fully vaccinated, which is up three per cent from July 26. About 87 per cent of people aged 18 and over have had one dose, which is up about one per cent from the previous reporting period.

When it comes to those who are aged 50-plus and fully vaccinated, the rates are: North Surrey (75 per cent), Whalley (81 per cent), Guildford (79 per cent), West Newton (83 per cent) East Newton (83 per cent), Fleetwood (84 per cent), Cloverdale (84 per cent), Panorama (86 percent) and South Surrey (84 per cent).

That’s about 82 per cent of those aged 50 and older who are fully vaccinated, which is up about one per cent from July 26. First doses are at 90 per cent, which is up about one per cent from July 26.

Meantime, Cheung said the “sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we can end this pandemic.”

“There are some people who have not yet been vaccinated because of certain health concerns, so it is a personal choice, but if people are able to do so, I really strongly encourage them because it helps all the other members of our community who cannot get that vaccination just yet.”

READ ALSO: Surrey’s weekly COVID-19 cases on the rise again, Aug. 5, 2021



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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