System defect allows 2,800 seniors to jump vaccine line in Newfoundland and Labrador

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A Newfoundland and Labrador health authority says a system defect and many innocent mistakes have allowed a few thousand seniors to jump the line for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Eastern Health CEO David Diamond says 2,800 residents in their 70s were able to book themselves a vaccine appointment online, even though appointments are only open to seniors in their 80s.

Diamond told a virtual news conference the mistakes likely occurred because residents in their 80s innocently shared their booking codes with friends and family.

He says seniors who mistakenly booked an appointment will be able to keep them and that extra clinics will be set up to ensure vaccinations for older residents don't fall behind schedule.

Diamond says authorities are working on the booking system to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

He says he suspects neither malice nor mischief were involved, adding that officials are asking people not to share their vaccine appointment codes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press