Nova Scotia remains the only province in Canada where people with pre-existing conditions are not given priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Darlene Chase of Wolfville, a kidney transplant recipient, says she has been made to wait and worry while other healthier people are vaccinated.
“I want to represent all the dialysis and transplant patients in Nova Scotia who have been ignored and pushed aside regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines on a priority basis,” says Chase.
Kings North PC MLA John Lohr raised her case in Question Period on Friday.
“We know this government says that vaccinating vulnerable people would slow the process down, but we don’t see it that way,” says Lohr. “We are the slowest in the country right now per capita. I think there is room to make exceptions. The Premier already has.”
Lohr notes the Premier’s flexibility to improve by moving categories of people around the priority list, including police officers and the homeless.
“Those of us who are immunocompromised cannot wait for herd immunity to kick in,” says Chase. “We are at serious risk of losing our transplant organs and our lives.”
Lohr notes that fortunately, Chase is now able to be vaccinated because of her age of 68, not because of her underlying condition. Despite her eligibility, she wants to ensure that others who have underlying conditions - who are not yet eligible - are recognized as a priority group.
“The other provinces in Canada have listened,” says Chase. “But here in Nova Scotia, it seems like there are more important things. I want the province to show they care about dialysis and transplant patients by making us a priority regardless of age.”