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

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo’s NRGH

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All seniors in long-term care on the Island will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
UPDATE: Snowfall warning issued for Nanaimo area, up to 5 cm forecast

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
New positive COVID-19 case at Nanaimo care home, where outbreak was declared

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence employee is isolating, says Island Health

Emergency crews were called to a semi-truck crash along the Trans-Canada Highway at Oyster Sto’Lo Road on Friday, Jan. 22. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Semi truck crashes off the side of the highway in Ladysmith

Driver taken to hospital as precaution after single-vehicle crash Friday

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
RDN Transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Actions of Vancouver Island RCMP emergency response team members prevented a potential head-on collision accident on the Trans-Canada Highway on Jan. 19, says Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file)
Eight cars evade vehicle driving on wrong side of highway, says Nanaimo RCMP

Incident occurred near Trans-Canada Highway-Morden Road intersection earlier this week

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a hatchback and a taxi minivan at the intersection of Fitzwilliam, Pine and Third streets on Friday afternoon. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver hurt as taxi and hatchback crash in Nanaimo

Collision happened Friday at intersection of Fitzwilliam, Pine and Third streets

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read