New Westminster officers offered COVID-19 vaccines from outside their health authority

Police officers in New Westminster were offered COVID-19 vaccine doses over the weekend, but not from their own health authority.

The department's chief constable expressed frustration that front-line workers in the city weren't being prioritized in local vaccine rollout and asked his local health authority for support.

The city, which is in the Fraser Health region, isn't considered a high-transmission area. However, it borders some of the communities that are.

Over the weekend, Chief Const. David Jansen told CTV News Vancouver essential workers in New Westminster appeared to be among the last in the Lower Mainland to get a dose.

"I recognize that Fraser Health has a tough job to do, we've never gone through a pandemic before," he said. "All we're looking for is some help from Fraser Health to make the city of New Westminster a priority for our front-line staff."

After Jansen spoke out, Vancouver Coastal Health said in a statement Sunday it was offering AstraZeneca doses to front-line and essential workers aged 30 and older – including New Westminster police officers – at clinics in its region.

"B.C. health authorities are working collaboratively to implement Phase 3 of the provincial COVID-19 Immunization Plan, which includes front-line and essential workers, including the police," the health authority said in its statement.

Some police officers in B.C., like Surrey Mounties, began receiving doses as early as April 12.