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Some B.C. police officers told to cancel COVID-19 vaccine appointment following confusion

A member of the Vancouver Police Department wears a chest mounted camera in downtown Vancouver in this file photo. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Some B.C. police officers who thought they were able to make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine have now been told to cancel them after some confusion over eligibility.

Late last week, in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, some police officers were able to book vaccine appointments but it appears there was confusion among the call-takers about who was eligible and who was not.

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Vancouver police said in a statement to Global News that while correctional officers are currently allowed to book appointments, police officers are not.

“The VPD has clarified with our members and advised that they are not currently eligible to book vaccination appointments,” the department said.

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“We have asked anyone who has booked an appointment to cancel it.”

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RCMP E Division said they also heard there was “misinformation” circulating this weekend and spoke to the B.C. Ministry of Health about the issue.

“Police officers will continue to be part of the previously announced rollout plan, mindful that front-line essential workers may be moved up based on vaccine availability during Phase 3,” a spokesperson for E Division said in a statement.

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“To ensure clarity, an internal message was sent out to our employees, which included a request that if an appointment was booked in error that it be cancelled.  We continue to work with our Provincial Health officials to identify our needs and any risks for our frontline police resources as it relates to the vaccination program.”

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Vancouver police and RCMP did not clarify what could happen if officers choose not to cancel their booked appointments.

B.C.’s Ministry of Health said Monday that it is “monitoring for any additional bookings from law enforcement who are not yet eligible.”

— With files from Sarah MacDonald and Jon Azpiri

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