Monday, March 8, 2021

B.C. couple accused of flying to Yukon to get vaccinated must wait for 2nd dose, ministry says

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A Vancouver couple who allegedly flouted COVID-19 rules and flew to Yukon to get the first doses of a vaccine will have to wait their turn for their second doses, says B.C.’s Ministry of Health.

Rodney Baker, 55, the now former president and CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, and Ekaterina Baker, a 32-year-old aspiring actress, are accused of breaking Yukon COVID-19 rules by chartering a plane to the small community of Beaver Creek, a community roughly 450 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse near the Alaska border

There, they took advantage of a mobile vaccination clinic that was administering the first doses of the Moderna vaccine to locals, claiming they were new employees at an area motel, according to Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker

Many in Yukon’s rural communities have been prioritized to receive vaccinations because they are hours away from medical care. 

In a statement to CBC News, B.C.’s Ministry of Health said the couple will have to wait — like everyone else — until their eligible age category before receiving their second dose of the vaccine.

“There is no room in BC’s COVID-19 Immunization plan for people who deliberately put vulnerable populations at risk in order to receive their vaccine before the start of their eligibility group,” the statement read.

“As we move towards immunizing the general public … there will be clear processes in place to ensure people can verify their age and that they are currently living in BC.

“The pre-registration process will help ensure people wait their turn. The system will not allow people to book an appointment until their age category is eligible to pre-register for an appointment for the dose that they should be receiving.”

B.C.’s vaccine plan, which was announced on Friday, will focus on vaccinating high-risk and most elderly populations by April before reaching younger adults in the summer.

The goal is to vaccinate four million members of the general public against COVID-19 by September.

Currently, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends getting the second dose of the Moderna vaccine within 42 days of the first. 

According to current plan, those aged between 59 and 30 — like the Bakers — will receive vaccines between July to September, well after 42 days from their first doses.

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