Teachers from SD42 and other districts in the Lower Mainland flocked to Surrey on Tuesday in the hopes of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. (Sheelagh Brothers/Twitter)

Teachers from SD42 and other districts in the Lower Mainland flocked to Surrey on Tuesday in the hopes of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. (Sheelagh Brothers/Twitter)

Pandemic

Don’t line up for vaccines unless asked to come, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

Social media post shows teachers lining up outside of Surrey clinic for leftover doses

B.C.’s top doctor says people shouldn’t line up for possible leftover vaccines, “unless you have been asked to come.”

In Thursday’s (April 8) briefing from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, she said “there’s a plan with every clinic for every dose,” depending on who’s there, how many doses are drawn up and how many doses are thawed “so that we can use up every dose” when asked about people who are lining up in the hopes of getting a vaccine.

“There (are) people who are on standby to come in and be booked in if there’s no-shows, if it looks like there’s going to be doses at the end of the day,” Henry added.

This comes after a teacher in New Westminster, Sheelagh Brothers, posted on Twitter on April 6 that teachers were standing in line at a clinic in Surrey in the hopes of getting a vaccine.

“The catch: we don’t teach in Surrey. There are no clinics set up yet in New West, Langley, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver. They have vaccines here. We’d like some protection please,” her tweet reads.

B.C. Ministry of Health spokesperson Marielle Tounsi said in an emailed statement to Black Press Media that “in order to minimize any wastage at end of day, pharmacists are encouraged to vaccinate any age-eligible patients with remaining doses.”

Brothers told the Now-Leader she first received a message from a colleague last Friday (April 2) that they had gone and managed to get a leftover vaccine. By the time she got there, she was unable to get a vaccine.

She tried again April 6 at a different vaccine clinic in Surrey.

“By the time I got to the location, I was told the rules had changed,” said Brothers. “For some reason, somehow, somebody got word you could get a shot and they were successful.

“The word is spreading rapidly.”

Brothers said it’s “a little frustrating” as her husband has two auto-immune diseases and is high risk.

“It matters if I bring it home. Not that it doesn’t matter to anybody, but he’s at a much higher risk,” said Brothers, adding her husband has since received his first dose which “takes away a tiny bit of fear.”

RELATED: SD42 teachers race to Surrey for leftover COVID vaccines, April 9, 2021

Henry said there are plans for any potential leftover doses, adding “we will be targeting the people who can’t work from home, our frontline workers program will be getting going again over and above the outbreak response that we continue to do.”

“Please don’t line up. I am reassured by my colleagues across the province that there are plans and the plans often involve things like taking any end of day doses to the emergency department, to the hospital to a local place where we know that there’s a need still.”

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine priority groups alleviate concerns for Surrey frontline workers, March 20, 2021

RELATED: B.C. emergency, grocery, school staff get COVID-19 vaccine starting April, March 18, 2021

In March, the province announced K-12 educators would be included in vaccine priority groups.

Within a few days, Surrey school district superintendent Jordan Tinney announced all Surrey K-12 school-based staff would be the first of the priority groups to be vaccinated, starting March 24.

The hope was all Surrey educators would have their first dose by April 1.

READ ALSO: Surrey teachers to be vaccinated by April 1, March 22, 2021

Ritinder Matthew, Surrey school district spokesperson, said that between the Surrey school district and independent schools, 10,919 staff had been vaccinated by end of day April 4. The “vast majority” of those were Surrey school district staff.

She added there is “still a few additional staff” that need to be vaccinated, but the “numbers are really small.”

Matthew noted “a lot of people wanted to get immunized,” adding that staff were very excited and thankful to be included.

Brothers said she hasn’t heard any other news about when those mentioned in the priority groups will be vaccinated.

“I was very excited to hear K-12 education staff was on that list,” she said, but added there has since been “very little communication, if any,” since the AstraZeneca vaccine was taken off the table for the priority groups.

Since Surrey has been “hit super hard” by the virus, Brothers said she was “thrilled” to hear Surrey educators would be getting vaccinations.

But she added there are “lots of there schools in Fraser Health that have a fair number of cases.”

“We’re anxious. I’m anxious.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

CoronavirusEducationvaccines

Just Posted

Gerry Thiessen, mayor of Vanderhoof shown talking to students on May 17. Thiessen and other members of council officially announced that the rainbow crosswalk will be a reality. They were ready to paint a few lines of of paint onto the crosswalk, but weather wasn’t suitable for it. District staff will be jumping onto the project as soon as the weather allows it. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
School District 91 holds first ‘Share the Love Day’

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia recognized

Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. Toxic illicit drugs have claimed the lives of 498 British Columbians in the first three months of 2021, said the BC Coroners Service. (BCEHS photo)
Increase in overdose cases a concern: Fort St. James RCMP

Police issue public health announcement

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fire

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

Vincent Doumeizel, senior advisor at the United Nations Global Compact on Oceans, as well as director for the Food Programme for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, pulls up some sugar kelp seaweed off the French coast in April 2020. He was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony of the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival. (Vincent Doumeizel/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

Most Read