U.S. offers COVID-19 vaccine to some B.C. border residents

With many British Columbians still waiting for their COVID shots, there's hope that help could be coming from neighbouring U.S. states. Even more Manitobans can now get their vaccinations in North Dakota and talks are underway to see see if similar arrangements can be made here with Washington State. Catherine Urquhart has the story.

With many British Columbians still waiting for their COVID-19 shots, there is hope that help could be coming from neighbouring U.S. states.

Point Roberts has offered vaccinations for Metro Vancouver residents, as has Hyder, Alaska, for the northern B.C. community of Stewart.

On Thursday, officials announced that Manitoba teachers can now join truckers in getting their shots across the border in North Dakota.

While discussions have been ongoing with U.S. officials, no broader arrangements have yet been made for B.C. residents.

“The things and people I’m concerned about are cross-border truckers and how we can have a relationship and access to vaccines for cross-border truckers,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.

“That’s a conversation we’ve had and I know government has had conversations at their level but I’m not aware of any programs that have started at this point.”

Read more:
Manitoba teachers can soon get COVID-19 shot in North Dakota, premier says

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said in his province, teachers would be allowed to drive to the U.S. border, get a shot on the North Dakota side — where vaccines are plentiful — and immediately drive back home.

“The isolation requirements that are normally there for people when they return from the United States will not apply,” he said.

The vaccines cannot just be shipped to Manitoba, as U.S. federal supply rules between the country and the manufacturer do not allow states to distribute their allotments across the border.

Both the U.S. and the Canadian governments would have to broker such a deal.

– with files from Shane Gibson

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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