B.C. health officials defend controversial vaccine use at businesses dealing with outbreaks
Vitrum Glass Group is seen through a fence in Langley, B.C., on Saturday, March 13, 2021.
VANCOUVER -- Employees of some businesses that are seeing large outbreaks are getting vaccinated ahead of schedule, a decision that is controversial to some.
Among these employees are those at a glass business in Langley, B.C. On-site vaccines were offered to factory workers at Vitrum Glass Group after 44 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Fraser Health described its approach as "aggressive," and said that other businesses in the food and agriculture industries with clusters and outbreaks are taking similar actions.
Some have voiced concerns about these employees being made a priority for vaccinations as others are still waiting for the shot.
But on Monday, the province's top doctor defended the decision.
"It's not about prioritizing one specific industry, it's about addressing the outbreaks and clusters that are ongoing in our communities now that lead to extra layers of transmission," Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a news conference.
She said B.C.'s initial shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be used in similar circumstances, including at large industrial camps where outbreaks have been an issue throughout the pandemic.