Scores of Metro Vancouverites are expressing frustration with the B.C. government's rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after people waited in long lines this week.
On Tuesday (April 27), Fraser Health announced that people 40 years of age and older who live in COVID-19 high-transmission neighbourhoods could visit drop-in clinics with no appointment. Additionally, the health authority said people 30 years of age and older who live in the 10 high-transmission neighbourhoods in the Fraser Health region could also receive the vaccine.
But people in the Fraser Health Authority said they waited in long lines to receive the vaccine, while others said they weren't made aware of the clinics in the first place.
Health Minister Adrian Dix told reporters in a press briefing that roughly 1.9 million British Columbians are registered for their COVID-19 vaccines and that everyone will be able to book an appointment soon. However, he acknowledged that there is a limited supply of AstraZeneca at this time.
In regard to the Fraser Health drop-in clinics, the health minister stated that he was "happy to report that 4,100 people were vaccinated," but that "we could have done better in terms of communication.
"We acknowledge that."
Long lines in Fraser Health
Health authorities must try different things to target hot spots across the province, noted Dix. "You never want to see pictures of people lining up ... and we're seeing a little of that in Surrey today, [but] we're going to do our best to target those communities."
For now, there won't be many more AstraZeneca drop-in clinics until supplies of the vaccine are replenished, added the health minister.
Dix also stated that people in "three of the four clinics" were identified by their postal code. However, some people in the Coquitlam drop-in clinic may have lived outside of that high-transmission community. "Overall, I just want to remind everyone how precise and excellent this program is."
A man who spoke to the Tri-City News said he wasn’t going to stand in line for what could be a long time to get vaccinated with Astra Zeneca. “I drove up and turned around,” he said.
Some area residents, meanwhile, are upset about the clinic bringing problems to their streets: Parking and traffic problems are among the main complaints, with at least one resident calling for a traffic management and parking plan for the clinic.
Kathleen Yang took to Twitter to say her partner had waited in line at the Cloverdale drop-in clinic for roughly two hours. The "estimated wait time [for] folks arriving now looks to be about three to four hours, but this is just their guess," she added.
Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson Jeremy Deutsch told Vancouver Is Awesome that "the age range for the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine is now 30+, but VCH is finished with the high-priority neighbourhood clinics."
Have a look at what some Metro Vancouverites have to say about the AstraZeneca rollout.
Guess who is in a four hour line to get an AZ vaccine pic.twitter.com/UYJhj5X7Sx— Beefy Trendsetter (@JohnnyBarnstorm) April 27, 2021
My partner has been waiting in line for a vaccine at Cloverdale rec centre for about 2 hours. Estimated wait time folks arriving now looks to be about 3 to 4 hours, but this is just their guess. pic.twitter.com/DgtRphhr1y— Kathleen Yang (@kathleen__yang) April 28, 2021
Demand SO HIGH that 314k doses haven’t yet been used by 1.7M population age 40-65, so you had to open the barn doors even further.— Jeff Borden (@jeffborden_cga) April 28, 2021
The line at the mass vaccine clinic in Coquitlam has grown significantly. It took me six minutes to walk to the back... People were running past me. This clinic is offering the AZ for people 30+ and there are many many people in their 30s in line! @cbcnewsbc @Fraserhealth pic.twitter.com/gKfcjxadb2— Anita Bathe (@anitabathe) April 27, 2021
Flabbergasted by the inconsistencies about vaccine information, what is the point in doing news conferences announcing plans for the week & no mention that the NEXT day 30 year olds have access in HOT SPOT areas?— Dr. Birinder Narang MBBS (Hons), CCFP (@DrBirinderSingh) April 27, 2021
People w/ language barriers are expected to learn from Twitter?
Word of mouth & Whatsapp forwards doing the job of our top doctor & government.— RKB (@basraveena96) April 27, 2021
As a pharmacist I have vaccinated 200 people in 4 days and people were happy with no hassle in the appointments. Now we are out of vaccines and I have emailed several times for more doses but no reply from BCPHA and fraser health! Such a mismanagement from authorities— AnantMrar (@anantmrar) April 28, 2021
When are the educational staff of BC going to get the vaccines we've been promised?? We are feeling incredibly undervalued and neglected. Again.— Marnie (@Mammotaps) April 27, 2021
Hey, 9-1-1 staff are still waiting. Keep dropping the age, but why not offer a workplace vaccination at the center. Imagine an outbreak here, with over 400+ staff coming in and out .— Dawn Retel (@dlretel) April 28, 2021
So now thousands of 30 year olds got their shot before me and before front line workers. I’ve been registered for ages I’m over 40 I live in Surrey in a hot zone - yet no text!!— Laurie Anne (@LAURIEVANCOUVER) April 28, 2021
I understand this but I don’t understand why someone who registers at several places and is 54 doesn’t get called to get the shot but they have drop in places were people far younger get their shots 🤔 can u just explain this to me ? Thank you— kathybjarnason (@kathybjarnason) April 28, 2021
@Fraserhealth @adriandix support two lives by prioritizing pregnant women!!! Please review the statement made Monday - why are we being reactive instead of proactive - we should be looking at other provinces numbers of pregnant women in the icu as an example!— Nathalie Tee (@natcatherine) April 28, 2021
whats the fucking point when you set up mystery clinics to allow people to jump ahead...you people suck— B (@bangha4) April 28, 2021
Is age based vaccination - most important from vulnerability point of view - being deemphasized? Why do we see no movement at all and instead see only your risk-based community program?— Salim Jiwa (@realreporter) April 28, 2021
COVID-19: Here are the 16 'high-transmission neighbourhoods' in B.C.
Do you live in a high-transmission neighbourhood?
The B.C. government is prioritizing the administration of vaccines in high-transmission areas in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the wake of surging cases.
Some hospitals in the Fraser Health Authority are already operating at capacity, while others are quickly filling up. In order to protect more people and keep hospitals working, the Province has started giving the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people age 30 and older in high-transmission areas. "Prioritizing neighbourhoods based on COVID-19 cases, outbreaks and hospitalizations will protect more people."
High-transmission neighbourhoods are located in 16 communities across B.C.
With files from the Tri-City News