British Columbia

B.C. senior denied 2nd dose of COVID vaccine after apparent system error

An 81-year-old man in Mission, B.C., is "confused" and "frustrated" after attempting to receive his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — only to be turned away by Fraser Health staff. 

Fraser Health would not comment on the specifics of the case, citing privacy reasons

Chris Lindgren, 81, says staff at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Mission, B.C., refused to give him his second dose, saying he had been there two days earlier. He insists he was not. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

UPDATE: This story was updated on June 18, 2021, to note that following his interview with CBC, Chris Lindgren was contacted by a Fraser Health representative to schedule another dose of the COVID vaccine. Fraser Health would not comment on the matter, citing patient privacy, but confirms "the situation was resolved."

An 81-year-old man in Mission, B.C., is "confused" and "frustrated" after attempting to receive his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — only to be turned away by Fraser Health staff. 

On June 11, Chris Lindgren says staff at Mission Memorial Hospital's COVID-19 testing and immunization centre, operated by Fraser Health, refused to give him a second dose, saying he had already received it two days earlier.

The senior, who received his first dose mid-March, insists that is not the case.

"I don't know what's going to happen if I only have one shot," said Lindgren. "I also would like to have my second shot so I can see my family and my grandchildren and go out and socialize with people."

Fraser Health would not comment on the specifics of Lindgren's situation, but writes it has "strict processes" in place to keep track of doses, such as checking ID, recording names, personal health numbers, and vaccine lot numbers, and filling out vaccine cards.

Following CBC's reporting, Lindgren was contacted by Fraser Health to schedule another dose of the COVID vaccine.

"I'm afraid that it can happen to other people," said Lindgren. "They were so [insistent] that I had got my second shot on the 9th, so there was nothing to discuss."

Multiple appointments confirmed

Lindgren says staff at the clinic did not produce any documentation to support their claims, instead citing two witnesses who said they saw the senior receive his second shot on June 9. When asked to produce these witnesses, however, Lindgren says the clinic refused.

"I don't know how you can recognize the person two days earlier. And with a mask on," said Lindgren. "I must have made a big impression."

The senior also claims staff filled out the second part of his vaccination card, after he produced it to show no second dose had been recorded.

An email shared with CBC, meanwhile, shows Lindgren received confirmation on May 28 for an appointment to receive his second dose, scheduled for June 11 at 12:30 p.m.

However, a second email, delivered on June 9, indicates he was also confirmed for an appointment at 10:35 a.m. that day. The email arrived at 10:36 a.m.

Lindgren says he did not book the June 9 appointment and that he and his wife were busy at home that morning, before eventually going to Abbotsford, B.C., for an eye appointment.

Lindgren and his wife Osa say they were busy the morning of June 9, when Fraser Health claims he received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"We had to drive our grandchild to school, and then go to the appointment," said Lindgren's wife, Osa, 76. "We were doing the chores we have to do. We have chickens and have to let them out and feed them. The dog has to be taken care of. All the little things to get ready."

Cellphone location data indicates Lindgren's device was at the couple's home the morning of June 9.

Fraser Health says anyone who's unsure whether they received a vaccine, or what brand they received, can check the official record using the Health Gateway website, available to those 12 and older with a B.C. Services Card and a mobile device.

Nearly four months after receiving his first dose, however, Lindgren simply wants his second.

"I'm frustrated that it's gone this far ... I'm 81 years old ... but I'm not that out of it," he said.

With files from Belle Puri

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