FILE – A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

FILE – A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Dix ‘very disappointed’ some Vancouver-area doctors jumped the queue for 2nd vaccine dose

Health officials say it is just a small number of doctors

The province’s health minister is “very disappointed” that some doctors in the Lower Mainland have jumped the queue to get their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Adrian Dix made the comments during a press conference Wednesday (Jan. 13) about B.C.’s vaccine rollout, after being asked about allegations that doctors from Vancouver Coastal Health took their second dose before they were invited to. He said officials learned of it through a review of the systems but declined to comment on any possible repercussions.

Dr. Penny Balem, the new lead of the Immunize BC task force and chair of Vancouver Coastal Health, echoed Dix’s comments.

“It’s a serious issue. Fortunately it’s a very small number of people and… we hope this is not anything we see a recurrence of,” she said.

Health officials were also asked about reports of queue jumping by admin staff. Dix said there have been “reports of some cases where some people appear to have gone out of line for COVID-19 immunizations” but that overall rollout has been “amazing.”

Henry said that if there are doses leftover when Pfizer vaccine doses approach the maximum six hours they can handle in an unfrozen state, there is a list of people who are called to avoid wasting extra doses.

“We do have administrators, nurses in particular, who are part of our teams that go into long term care to manage outbreaks,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. has vaccinated upwards of 62,294 people with their first dose as of Wednesday, which Dix said is the vast majority of its supply. The province is getting more vaccine shipments this week and Dix said that between April and June, as mass vaccinations start, the province is expecting to get 2.64 million doses. B.C. is expected to get another nearly 2.6 million doses between July and September, estimates which do not include the 20 million extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine that Canada secured this week.

READ MORE: Canada secures 20M more Pfizer vaccine doses; U.S. border closure extended to Feb. 21

Both approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses for full effectiveness. However, on Monday Henry said that data from clinical trials showed very high effectiveness for both vaccines just two weeks after the first dose; 92.6 per cent for Pfizer and 92.1 per cent for Moderna.

“That is quite frankly amazing,” she said Monday, adding that clinical trials have showed no difference in effectiveness if the second dose is given 42 days after the first, or between 19 and 21. Pfizer has recommended 21 days between vaccine doses and Moderna has recommended 28.

As a result, Henry has said B.C. is attempting to get as many first doses into arms as possible. The province expects its vaccine supply to be backloaded, meaning that later months will see many more shipments than the first few months.

Health officials said Wednesday that they expect 2.64 million doses of the two vaccines between April and June, triple the amount they expect to get in February and March.

Canada has pledged that every resident who wants a vaccine will be able to be immunized by September.

READ MORE: B.C. names new lead for ‘largest’ vaccine rollout in province’s history


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Katie Smith and Richard Coombs are teh couple behind Agassiz Delivered, a new delivery company that has taken off during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Agassiz Delivered/Facebook)
Local couple keeps Agassiz delivered

What started out as takeout delivery has turned into a pandemic business boom

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Agassiz long term care homes receive first COVID-19 shot

Fraser Health says all 151 care homes in the region will have had vaccination clinics by Jan. 15

Two people were in a vehicle that rolled over on Highway No. 1 near Lickman Road. They are now out of the vehicle. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vehicle rolls over on Highway 1 near Lickman Road in Chilliwack

Two people in SUV at time of collision in westbound lanes

Both eastbound lanes are completely west of exit 135 on Highway 1. (Google maps)
UPDATE: Traffic now getting through following car collision on Highway 1 in Chilliwack

Incident happened shortly just west of exit 135 for Agassiz/Harrison Hot Springs

The route of the pink parade. The Record has blackened out the name of the teen. Facebook photo.
Pink-vehicle parade to be held Sunday in support of transgender teen assaulted in Mission

Teen and family to watch parade drive single file along waterfront at 3 p.m., Jan. 17

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

The Delta Hospice Society operates the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care (pictured) and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner. (The Canadian Press photo)
Fraser Health to evict Delta Hospice Society, open new hospice beds next door

Health authority will serve DHS 30 days’ notice when service agreement expires Feb. 25

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Most Read