The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (File photo)

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (File photo)

UPDATE: Peace Arch Hospital staff did not jump COVID-19 vaccine queue: Fraser Health

Director who received leftover dose defined as ‘priority staff’ member

A media report suggesting that some Peace Arch Hospital staff members jumped the COVID-19 vaccine queue, despite not being directly involved in patient care, is not accurate, according to the Fraser Health Authority.

The article, quoting anonymous sources who work at Peace Arch Hospital, indicated that a director at the hospital, who is not involved in day-to-day direct patient care, as well as the director’s son and son-in-law, who work at the hospital as a porter and a screener, received COVID-19 doses before frontline workers did.

While Fraser Health acknowledges that three Peace Arch Hospital staff received the vaccine, Fraser Health media representative Dixon Tam defined them as as “priority staff.”

Tam said when a vaccination clinic concludes for the day, any remaining doses of the vaccine must be used, as once the doses are reconstituted, they cannot be placed back in storage.

To avoid vaccine wastage, if doses remain after a clinic takes place, staff will proactively reach out to other Fraser Health sites to ask if priority staff are interested in getting vaccinated, Tam wrote in an email to Peace Arch News.

“In this particular case, on December 28, clinic staff at Royal Columbian Hospital contacted Peace Arch Hospital to ask if any priority staff wanted to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at Royal Columbia Hospital that day,” Tam wrote.

RELATED: Dix ‘very disappointed’ some Vancouver-area doctors jumped queue for 2nd vaccine dose

“Three people volunteered to attend the immunization clinic. All of them are Fraser Health staff – one is a director who works in long term care, while the other two work at Peace Arch Hospital in priority areas.”

Tam said no members of Fraser Health’s senior executive team have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“However, we are aware of a handful of leaders who received a vaccination. We are doing our best to ensure high priority staff are being vaccinated first and no wastage of vaccine occurs.”

On Friday, after seeing the response from Fraser Health in an earlier version of this story on PAN’s website, Peace Arch Hospital emergency-room physician Jerrod Hendry emailed PAN and criticized the vaccine-rollout plan for prioritizing “an administrator, porter and screener” over physicians and nurses in ERs, intensive-care units and COVID-19 units, calling the move, “a slap in the face to all of us that put our lives on the line to walk into and take care of COVID-positive patients.

“Most of the rest of us ‘lower priority workers’ had to wait until weeks later to get our vaccinations,” Hendry noted.

“If I or any of my ER colleagues from any of the Fraser Health facilities had been given a call to go to RCH to get a vaccination on Dec 27, there would have been many more than 17 staff members that would have dropped everything to go.”

Meanwhile, on Jan. 13, Health Minister Adrian Dix expressed disappointment that some Vancouver-area doctors jumped the queue for a second vaccine dose.

Dix made the comments during a press conference about B.C.’s vaccine rollout, after being asked about allegations that doctors in 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 roll-out has been “amazing.”

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that if there are doses leftover when Pfizer vaccine approaches the maximum six hours it can handle in an unfrozen state, there is a list of people who are called, to avoid wasting extra doses.

More information about vaccine priority groups can be found here.

– with files from Katya Slepian

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

Police stopped car riddled with bullets in Whalley Monday night. (Photo: CFSEU)
Police seize two pounds of pot, $25K from Surrey car riddled with bullet holes

This was in the neighbourhood of 104th Avenue and Whalley Boulevard on Monday night

Aerial view of Surrey's Port Mann Park looking south, with the bridge to the right. (Photo:
Former Surrey landfill site pitched for riverfront trails, group camping area

Grant application would cover $9.97 million project cost at Port Mann Park, report to council says

Conservative Part of Canada Leader Erin O’Toole will speak at a virtual town hall hosted by the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce. (The Canadian Press file photo)
Erin O’Toole to provide ‘road map to economic recovery’ at virtual town hall

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce to host Conservative Party of Canada leader

South Surrey’s Historic Stewart Farm. (City of Surrey photo)
City receives $400K grant to build Indigenous Carving Centre in South Surrey

Construction of showcase venue to be completed mid-2022

Snowfall warnings Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 for parts of the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Chilliwack Progress)
Winter storm warnings Thursday for Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon

Snow is expected to become heavier as day progresses with snowfall amounts of up to 30 centimetres

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

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)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Most Read