B.C. couple who flew to Yukon for COVID-19 vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until August

A B.C. couple charged with disobeying isolation requirements and travelling to the Yukon to jump the COVID-19 vaccine queue will not be immediately eligible to receive their second Moderna dose until the summer, the province says.

Former Great Canadian Gaming Corporation CEO Rod Baker and his wife Ekaterina Baker were ticketed and charged in Whitehorse on Thursday for breaking Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act. It’s alleged the couple posed as workers to receive the Moderna vaccine.

In a statement Tuesday, the B.C. Ministry of Health did not name the couple but made the rules clear around those jumping the queue.

“There is no room in B.C.’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 reads.

“As we move towards immunizing the general public in Phases 3 and 4, there will be clear processes in place to ensure people can verify their age and that they are currently living in B.C.”

Read more: Great Canadian Gaming CEO, wife ticketed after allegedly flying to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The province is ensuring anyone eligible to receive either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine receives the second shot within 42 days.

Moderna’s research shows the first dose is about 80 per cent effective without the second dose.

Based on their ages, Rod Baker would be eligible for the second dose in B.C. in August, while Ekaterina Baker would not be eligible until later in August or potentially September. There is also no guarantee the Moderna vaccine will be available to the Bakers, who live in Vancouver.

The province is starting the mass immunization campaign in April, after higher-risk populations are vaccinated.

“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,” the ministry said in the statement.

Click to play video '‘I think they should be ashamed of themselves’: Dr. Bonnie Henry on Yukon vaccine queue jumpers' 1:33 ‘I think they should be ashamed of themselves’: Dr. Bonnie Henry on Yukon vaccine queue jumpers

‘I think they should be ashamed of themselves’: Dr. Bonnie Henry on Yukon vaccine queue jumpers

On Monday, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. announced that Rod Baker has stepped down as its president and chief executive.

He was also a member of Great Canadian Gaming’s board of directors.

In a statement to Global News Monday night, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. said it does not comment on personal matters relating to former employees, but that the company will not tolerate staff who do not comply with strict compliance policies in regards to travel.

“Great Canadian’s board of directors has no tolerance for actions that run counter to the company’s objectives and values. Since the onset of the pandemic our overriding focus as a company has been on doing everything we can to keep our people healthy, and to enable our communities to combat the spread of COVID-19,” spokesperson Chuck Keeling said.

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

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