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

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Caleb Wykes, Jade Daniel and Alicia Dennis celebrate Australia Day at the Fernie Hotel and Pub. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Fernie Hotel celebrates the land down under

Sausages sizzled and Vegemite was spread as The Fernie Hotel celebrated Australia Day on Jan. 26.

Teck today announced the development of a new centralized office building in Sparwood, B.C. File photo
What’s in a brand? Sparwood logo turns 10

The five-point star and branding has adorned the district’s properties since 2011

A Half-moon hairstreak butterfly. (Image courtesy of Calgary Zoo)
Parks Canada, Calgary Zoo work to conserve butterflies in Waterton Lakes

Parks Canada will contribute $289,000 over three years for the project

Freshies barista, Craig Stoner at the new cafe location. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Freshies settles into new space

The new locatiom on 2nd Ave gives the popular cafe more space

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

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

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

Most Read