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

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

Just Posted

The District of Kitimat has announced to continue their free transit fares for all students in kindergarten to Grade 12. The pilot project will continue to run until August 2023, and will be reviewed in 2023 to see if it will be renewed. (Black Press photo)
Free student transit fare pilot project continues in Kitimat

The project was launched in September 2020 and allowed students to board buses for free

Kitimat Search and Rescue was tasked by RCMP on Friday, April 21 2021, requesting help in finding three lost hikers north of the Smith Street hiking trail. Hikers were found and brought back into town at 8 pm. (Kitimat Search and Rescue logo)
Kitimat SAR find three lost hikers

Kitimat SAR issued a warning to locals using the trails

Gates will open at 8:30 p.m. with the first film starting around 9:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (AFFNO file photo)
AFFNO hosts french film in the Kitimat-Stikine and Northcoast Region

AFFNO had to create different approaches this year to set up events

(Clare Rayment photo)
Column: Whether weather correlates to your mood

Nearly nine per cent of people fall into a ‘rain haters’ category

Adrian Tryssenaar performing as Elvis at the Gyro Park Bandshell in Penticton, 2004. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Adrian Tryssenaar

Kitimat’s king of rock

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Most Read