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

A memorial march takes place along Highway 16 also known as Canada’s ‘Highway of Tears’ on national day of awareness of Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Over five dozen people from nearby communities joined the march which began from outside Terrace City Hall and ended at the memorial totem pole erected along Hwy 16, near Kitsumkalum. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
‘City of Terrace can and should make spaces safer’: MMIWG activists

Activists called on governments to amplify safety net for women on national day of awareness of MMIWG

RCMP are reminding the public to be aware of their surroundings after a stabbing sent a man to hospital on May 4, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace stabbing sends man to hospital

RCMP remind the public to be aware of surroundings

The construction site for the new Mills Memorial Hospital has been cleared. (Binny Paul/The Terrace Standard)
Bird nests key to decision to log hospital site in Terrace

Nests would have posed a risk of increasing costs

There were four new COVID-19 cases reported in the Terrace local health area between April 25 and May 1, 2021. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)
COVID-19: New cases in northwest remain low

Terrace recorded four new COVID-19 cases between April 25 and May 1, 2021

The Helping Hands of Terrace sorting facility was completed in November 2020. Phase two added a second shipping container and a roof, meaning that multiple people can sort recyclables at one time. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Inside Helping Hands of Terrace’s sorting facility

Phase two of the facility was completed late last year

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

Most Read