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

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

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

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

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

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

Most Read