Some Fraser Health drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics quietly offering 2nd doses
DELTA, B.C. -- A sign at a same-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic for commercial truckers in Delta clearly said “first dose only,” but many people who drove up and dropped in on Wednesday were getting their second shots.
“If we are not busy and someone is here for their second dose, then we will accommodate them if we are able to,” said Sarah Siebert, an on-site spokesperson for Fraser Health.
The clinic – located in the truck pull-out area on Highway 91 northbound between the Highway 10 and 64th Avenue exits – is scheduled to be open again on Thursday.
“Truck drivers are busy doing their routes and haven’t always had the opportunity to book into one of our clinics, so we wanted to provide an easy access opportunity for them,” said Siebert.
Second doses are also available at Fraser Health’s low-barrier EASI and neighbourhood drop-in clinics.
“It’s advertised as first dose,” said family physician Dr. Madhu Jawanda, co-founder of the This is Our Shot campaign.
“It’s not officially second dose, but if you go there and you’re close to your eight-week mark, they’ll give you your dose if they have (shots) leftover.”
Fraser Health told CTV News Vancouver people who qualify for dose two can put their name on a virtual wait list at its same-day clinics. They will be texted to come back later that day if there is enough vaccine for them to get their second dose.
Jawanda says that information should be available on the Fraser Health COVID-19 clinic webpage.
“As family doctors, we have boots on the ground and we are directing our patients as to how to go about getting their vaccines,” Jawanda said. “If there are these sort of back door entrances to getting second doses, it doesn’t really make us look great either. It’s good to have public health being open and transparent.”
A new feature on the province’s vaccine booking portal will make it easier for people to find a second shot quicker. People no longer have to cancel their first appointment before shopping around for one that’s available sooner. Instead, if they hit the cancel button in their confirmation email, they will be asked if they want to cancel or reschedule.
With so much vaccine arriving daily, British Columbians who booked second-dose appointments in late June or July can likely get in much sooner if they reschedule now.
They can also call the vaccine booking hotline.
“Ask them, ‘This is when my appointment is, do you have any other availabilities?’” said Jawanda. “The experience is, they will be bumped up.”