BC Liberals call for greater clarity, as confusion grows around vaccine rollout

VICTORIA (April 28, 2021) – BC United Health Critic Renee Merrifield is calling on the Minister of Health to provide greater clarity around the vaccine rollout, including what sorts of measures “hot-spot” vaccine clinics have in place to ensure that vaccines go to community residents and who needs to register for second doses — and how.

“A smooth and efficient vaccine rollout is absolutely essential to getting B.C. through this pandemic,” said Merrifield. “However, we are hearing from more and more constituents, and especially those in the “hot-spot” of Surrey, who are frustrated about last-minute, poorly-announced pop-up clinics and inconsistent eligibility requirements that are not being widely enforced. They are also struggling with conflicting instructions around registering for second doses. All this, while many essential workers still don’t know when they will be vaccinated. We need the Minister to stand up and provide real clarity and better communication for B.C. residents.”

BC Liberal MLAs have heard increasing numbers of stories from constituents about people camping overnight for vaccines, unannounced clinics, people from outside of hot-spot areas getting vaccinated early, and many other examples that are contributing to growing confusion around how and when to receive a vaccine in B.C. Meanwhile, a statement released by the Ministry of Health about the need to register for second doses — when many people have been told they won’t need to — has only added to the confusion.

“The government has repeatedly pointed to vaccines as the way to bring this pandemic to an end — they are a sign of hope for so many exhausted people. But the government continues to do British Columbians a disservice by failing to be clear on how they will be able to receive the vaccine,” said Merrifield. “People should not have to turn to anecdotal accounts on social media to get the most up-to-date information. This disorganized approach only adds to confusion, while also failing to consider language and accessibility requirements. It is high time the Minister steps in and communicates the clear and consistent information that people need, so they can be confident in this vaccine program.”