The top doctor in the Fraser Health authority has revealed so many health-care staff volunteered to administer and receive COVID-19 vaccines, the allocation for those workers is used up and they’re reserving remaining doses for long-term care residents until more supplies arrive.
Dr. Victoria Lee told CTV News that their vaccination plans have been changing hour by hour and that their efficiency in distributing the vaccine has skyrocketed in recent days.
“Within weeks we’ve had over 550 medical staff, more than 75 pharmacists and more than 200 nurses that agreed and expressed interest in administering COVID-19 vaccine across the region, in addition to people we hired for this purpose," she said, noting that the health authority went from performing a few hundred vaccinations a day to nearly 3,000 by Friday.
The goal is 30,000 doses per week.
Lee also acknowledged poor communication that led to concerns raised by doctors earlier in the week, stemming from the abrupt closure of the Royal Columbian Hospital vaccination site for frontline health-care workers, including those in hospitals and urgent care centres more at risk of COVID-19 exposure.
She now says the allocation of current supplies for frontline workers in Fraser Health is already used up, while a spokesperson said they expect to have new vaccine to resume those inoculations by the end of the month.
“We were able to move through the acute care units really rapidly, which is great, but in order to ensure we have enough doses for assisted living staff, medical staff and, of course, vulnerable residents, we needed to redirect those resources,” explained Lee.
“We make best efforts to communicate but of course sometimes there are gaps and we're looking for every opportunity to improve those and improve our communication to our stakeholders as well as our internal staff and medical staff. I do also want to ask for patience as plans are very, very dynamic and things change very rapidly, minute to minute."