Hamilton Public Health nurses ‘disciplined’ for improper COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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Published March 23, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Hamilton Public Health nurses ‘disciplined’ for improper COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Three Hamilton Public Health Services (HPS) nurses are facing disciplinary action following an investigation into allegations of improper COVID-19 vaccine distribution at a pop-up clinic.

When the investigation launched earlier this month, the three staff members were placed on paid leave.

In a press release issued Tuesday (March 23), one of the nurses was no longer an employee of the City, and the other two faced “appropriate disciplinary action” in the wake of the investigation.

According to the release, the investigation found that “up to seven vaccine doses were administered to individuals who were related to one of the staff members whose actions were later investigated and/or who fell outside normal practice and the prescribed priority categories.”

The investigation was launched on March 5 when personnel working at one of the mobile clinics raised concerns that approximately 15 vaccines were given out to people who were not yet eligible.

At the time, Hamilton’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson said they would not be taking the allegations lightly.

“The City is committed to ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines are administered in a way that is fair, equitable and based on criteria that prioritizes those that are most in need,” she said in a statement at the time.

“Any actions designed to circumvent the vaccine program’s eligibility criteria are unethical and unacceptable.”

The City said it will not release the names of the individuals investigated or the location where the impropriety occurred because this is a human resource issue.

“The incident does not reflect or take away from the instrumental role our nurses have played in Hamilton’s COVID-19 response,” said Jen Vickers-Manzin, HPS’s chief nursing officer in a statement.

“Nurses working in public health have demonstrated adaptability, dedication, and a commitment to excellence. As an organization, Hamilton Public Health Services remains committed to supporting our nursing staff to provide high-quality care.”

To date, more than 71,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Hamilton.

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