Canadian couple who traveled more than 1,000 miles to get COVID-19 vaccines meant for vulnerable Indigenous people could face jail time

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The distance between Vancouver and Beaver Creek, the journey that the couple is accused of making to get a vaccine. Google Maps/Business Insider
  • Rodney and Ekaterina Baker could face up to six months in jail, according to The Guardian.

  • They have already been fined for breaking Yukon's public health rules by failing to self-isolate upon arrival.

  • The couple is accused of traveling from Vancouver to get shots meant for vulnerable Indigenous people.

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Related: COVID-19 vaccines are making their way around the world

A Canadian couple accused of traveling more than 1,000 miles to a remote community to get a COVID-19 vaccine meant for vulnerable Indigenous people may face jail sentences, according to The Guardian.

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker were previously fined $1,150 for breaking public health rules, the paper reported.

The couple, who were both charged under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act, could also face up to six months in jail, The Guardian said.

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker were accused, earlier this week, of leaving Vancouver and flying by private jet to a Beaver Creek, Yukon, according to Yukon News.

Once there, they reportedly posed as local workers in order to receive coronavirus shots.

Read more: Vaccine inequity on Capitol Hill: Members of Congress got the shots but essential Hill workers are left waiting.

As per local guidance, the couple was then expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, following a tip-off, officials found the Bakers had departed their quarantine location and had headed to a nearby airport, Yukon News said.

Beaver Creek, where the Bakers traveled to for their vaccines, is an isolated community of around 100 people. It is primarily home to members of the White River First Nation community.

The Moderna vaccine was being distributed there, with a particular focus on inoculating high-risk and older members of the local Indigenous community, The Guardian said.

Angela Demit, the chief of the White River First Nation, said in a statement: "We are deeply concerned by the actions of individuals who put our Elders and vulnerable people at risk to jump the line for selfish purposes."

She added that the community "was selected for vaccines given our remoteness, elderly and high-risk population, as well as limited access to healthcare."

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