A drive-through vaccination clinic in Point Roberts. Fire chief Christopher Carleton is proposing the same to help inoculate B.C. residents who cross the border. (Point Roberts Fire Department)

A drive-through vaccination clinic in Point Roberts. Fire chief Christopher Carleton is proposing the same to help inoculate B.C. residents who cross the border. (Point Roberts Fire Department)

U.S. border town offering its leftover COVID-19 vaccines to people in B.C.

A Point Roberts fire chief is asking state officials to grant an exemption to Canadians going south for in-car inoculations

It’s been more than a year since Canadians could cross the U.S. border, a Point Roberts fire chief is hoping this will change so that people in B.C. can drive south for a quick vaccination.

Christopher Carleton is proposing his small town of 900 or so residents – 70 per cent of whom are vaccinated – uses its surplus of COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate British Columbians.

For this reason, in a letter to Washington state officials, the fire chief in charge of vaccinations requested an exemption for B.C. residents to cross the border.

“This is a world pandemic. My first priority would to be vaccinate U.S. residents who are living in Canada,” he told Black Press Media.

“Second to that, to vaccinate Point Roberts property owners who are Canadians, many usually spend the summer with us. I want to get any influx of persons into my community, safely.”

Since Point Roberts is geographically isolated with residents landlocked from the rest of the U.S., Carleton feels Canadians driving in would pose no risk.

“Canadians would stay in their vehicles. We’d bring them to a location once they crossed over the border,” he wrote to Congresswoman Suzan Delbene and two state senators.

“They would come to a location just over the border and go through a vaccine event. They would never get out of their vehicle, just roll down their window.”

RELATED: U.S.-Canada border closure hurts isolated Washington state town

He’s asking for those vaccinated in their cars to be exempt from quarantine once they drive back into Canada.

“I struggle with how we (the U.S.) have responded to our allies during the pandemic. My goal is to extend a hand,” Carleton said. 

Officials in Alaska also plan to give COVID-19 vaccines to B.C. residents in Stewart if cross-border allowances are made.

The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel since March of last year.

READ MORE: Alaska governor shares COVID vaccine supply with small B.C. town



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusUnited Statesvaccines