Fraser Health has shared additional details following criticism over three COVID-19 pop-up vaccination clinics that opened on Tuesday.
The pop-up clinics opened in the afternoon in high-transmission neighbourhoods, with the health authority notifying the public moments after they had opened. A photo shared by Vaccine Hunters Canada, however, suggested that one of the locations already had a line.
If you live in a high-transmission neighbourhood, learn more about today’s drop in clinics here: https://t.co/VJcLzsgoaH We are asking all eligible people to get vaccinated and do not delay. pic.twitter.com/lHaSjmbkVu
— Fraser Health (@Fraserhealth) April 27, 2021
The clinics drew criticism from members of the public. Despite the lack of notice and information, massive lineups accumulated at the clinic sites. Additionally, some people on social media who reportedly attended said that they were turned away after several hours of waiting.
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?
People w/ language barriers are expected to learn from Twitter?
— Dr. Birinder Narang MBBS (Hons), CCFP (@DrBirinderSingh) April 27, 2021
It was also announced that some of the clinics would offer AstraZeneca vaccination to people 30 and over. The decision to open vaccination to that age range, however, had yet to be announced or confirmed by health authorities or the provincial government.
Fraser Health told Daily Hive that pop-up clinics are opened based on the number of appointments booked at local clinics.
“We look at our clinics and number of appointments booked and, if we have sufficient surplus supply, then we can consider doing a drop-in clinic,” a spokesperson explained in an emailed statement.
The health authority says that if any clinics “needed to end early, it would be due to supply,” adding that they’ll create additional drop-in clinics “where and when [they] can.”
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Fraser Health adds that British Columbians can also check on the BC Government website to find out if their neighbourhood is eligible by using their postal code.
The Ministry of Health also said that starting Tuesday, the AstraZeneca vaccine would be made available to anyone over the age of 30.
“As we receive enough AstraZeneca to add appointments at pharmacies, it will be made available to anyone in the province aged 30 and older,” reads a written COVID-19 update from the provincial government.
“We know demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine is high in many areas. Unfortunately, available supply through pharmacies in some regions will continue to be limited until additional supplies come in.”