VANCOUVER – Dentists, bus drivers and teachers are among the essential workers who are disappointed not to be given priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in British Columbia. Before Christ
VANCOUVER – Dentists, bus drivers and teachers are among the essential workers who are disappointed not to be given priority to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in British Columbia.
British Columbia rolled out its vaccination plan on Friday, revealing that after the most vulnerable groups are vaccinated, vaccines will be distributed based on age, with the oldest residents first.
This means that many people who were unable to work from home during the pandemic, including grocery store workers, police and letter carriers, will have to wait to get vaccinated with others in their age group. .
The British Columbia Dental Association has written a letter to Premier John Horgan urging him to include dentists in Stage 2 of the vaccination plan, alongside family physicians and medical specialists.
“Dentistry is an essential service. Most importantly, dental care, including aerosol-generating dental procedures, is provided to patients who cannot wear a mask during treatment, ”Association President Dr Anthony Nadolski said in the letter.
“British Columbia dentists continue to do all they can to ensure dental practices are safe for patients and staff. Early access to vaccines will ensure continued access to urgent and emergency dental care. ”
Other agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have included dentists and dentists in stage 2 as well as physicians and specialists not directly involved in providing care to COVID-19 patients, Nadolski added.
More recently, Ontario has included dentistry in its second stage because dentists typically provide in-person care and many dental procedures are urgent and cannot be delayed, he said.
The British Columbia Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
The province initially suggested that people who provide essential services, such as teachers, grocery store workers and law enforcement officers, be given priority in getting the vaccine.
But when the finalized plan was released on Friday, provincial health administrator Dr Bonnie Henry said scientific evidence supports an age-based approach, as older populations are at much higher risk of infection and death from COVID-19.
Currently, hospital workers, Indigenous communities and residents of long-term care homes, essential staff and visitors are among those vaccinated in Stage 1 of the plan.
Stage 2 will begin in February and will include people aged 80 and over, Indigenous seniors over 65, general practitioners and medical specialists.
In April, the province will begin immunizing the general public in five-year age groups, starting with those aged 75 to 79 before moving to those aged 70 to 74 and so on.
However, Henry added that the approval of more vaccines could mean the province’s plan could be revised to vaccinate essential workers between April and June.
Metro Vancouver bus drivers are “very disappointed” that they are not given priority when risking their lives to provide transportation to the public, said Balbir Mann, president of Unifor Local 111.
The union is calling on the provincial government to immediately change the plan and include transit operators in step 2.
“We’re basically front-line workers, taking people to work and to the grocery store. Our members are real heroes, ”said Mann. “They put their lives in front of it to help the general public. ”
Teachers are also disappointed that there is no priority for the frontline workers who have kept schools, public services and the economy open, said BC Teachers Federation president Teri Mooring.
“However, the vaccine supply limit is beyond our control and those of us who are most vulnerable to death and serious illness must first be vaccinated,” she said in a statement. .
Hopefully more vaccines will be approved and the vaccination strategy will be adapted and accelerated appropriately, she said.
Wetting added if teachers are not prioritized for vaccines, the government must take immediate action to improve safety measures in schools, including mandatory masks, better physical distancing and ventilation upgrades.
“There’s no denying that teachers are stressed, anxious and even scared. We don’t have the layers of protection in our schools that exist in other environments. ”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 24, 2021.
Laura Dhillon Kane, The Canadian Press
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