B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update COVID-19 cases, B.C. legislature, June 29, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update COVID-19 cases, B.C. legislature, June 29, 2020. (B.C. government)

VIDEO: B.C. pop-up vaccine clinics not successful, health officials admit

Apologies were offered for the anger and confusion caused by the program, which resulted in lineups where many waited for hours and still didn’t get vaccinated

Pop-up vaccine clinics in Metro Vancouver COVID-19 hot zones are an experiment that didn’t work, British Columbia health officials said Thursday.

Apologies were offered for the anger and confusion caused by the program, which was meant to reach as many residents as quickly as possible but resulted in lineups where many waited for hours and still didn’t get vaccinated.

“Yes, there were some operational things that were done or not done that caused a lot of frustration and I can see that, and I absolutely apologize to people for the miscommunications and for the confusion,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told a news conference.

She said attempts to reach people in areas of high COVID-19 counts using drop-in-type clinics in Surrey and Coquitlam faced challenges as people lined up for hours waiting for vaccines.

“It got a life of its own that was not anticipated, in social media in particular,” said Henry. “That was certainly not the intent.”

Dr. Victoria Lee, the president of Fraser Health, said no more pop-up clinics are planned as the health authority learned from the experience where people who were eligible and ineligible for immunization waited in long lineups for limited amounts of vaccine.

Health Minister Adrian Dix faced pointed questions in the legislature about the massive confusion over the pop-up clinics.

“The premier’s pop-up clinics are somewhat out of ‘Hunger Games,’” said Liberal health critic Renee Merrifield. “The confusion, anger and the lineups continue today in Surrey.”

Dix said the rollout of the clinics did not work.

“I think it’s fair to say they were not a success, certainly from communications or a confidence perspective,” he said. “Fraser Health is taking lessons from that.”

Despite the problems at the pop-up clinics, thousands of people still got first doses of a vaccine, said Henry, adding officials must now regroup and find other ways to distribute vaccines to those living in high-case areas.

“Hopefully we’ve made the point today that the best way to guarantee your spot and your vaccine is to register and it will be there for you, so you don’t have to worry whether there’s a pop-up clinic in your community or not,” she said.

B.C. is expecting to receive more than one million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the next month and the first shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected next week, said Henry.

It’s expected that every adult in B.C. will have received their first vaccine dose by mid-June, she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

A woman is hoping that her dog Ginger ran away from the fire that erupted in her Osoyoos home Saturday night. The home caught fire twice in two days and is totally destroyed. (Contributed)
Dog missing after saving woman from huge house fire in Osoyoos

The woman escaped the burning home, but she hopes her dog Ginger ran away to safety

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Two vehicles were involved in a collision around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Main Street and Industrial intersection. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Traffic slow after collision at Main and Industrial in Penticton

Two vehicles were involved and first responders are on scene

RCMP. (Black Press File)
BREAKING: Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered in Naramata

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

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

A Falkland man will present a 600+ signature petition to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board Thursday, May 20, opposing dog control in Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland, Silver Creek, Salmon Valley and Ranchero/Deep Creek. (File photo)
600-plus sign Falkland man’s petition against dog control

Similar bylaw rejected by 200 public hearing attendees when topic came up 9 years ago

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

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

Notes of hope, encouragement and camaraderie were left on the message board inside the kitchen of TacoTime. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

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

Most Read