Some paramedics in Nova Scotia were surprised to be scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccination, only to have that appointment cancelled because it was too late in the day. That has led PC Health Critic Karla MacFarlane to wonder why steps aren’t in place and resources were not committed to expand hours.
“Why can’t we vaccinate people after 6pm?” says MacFarlane. “Healthcare workers aren’t working 9 to 5 jobs when saving lives. When the government responds to the biggest health pandemic in a lifetime, it shouldn’t be 9 to 5 either.”
“Is it a lack of resources or a lack of planning?”
The paramedic was scheduled for a post-5pm slot, only to have that cancelled later in the day. Colton LeBlanc, PC critic for Prehospital and Preventive Health care says that despite supply chain problems across the country, the slow vaccination process in Nova Scotia is partly its own doing.
“The Premier likes to say that all vaccine supply has been reserved for a person, but what he doesn’t tell you is that our lack of resources are adding to the amount of time that vaccine is sitting in a freezer and not in arms.”
As of last week, Nova Scotia had the lowest vaccination rate in North America. The province is now near the bottom of the pack in the country.
“The Liberals like to accuse the Official Opposition of ‘politicizing’ to deflect attention, but these are actually facts, not speculations, says LeBlanc. “We also know the Liberals have a history of cutting corners on health care to save a buck. I hope that’s not what’s happening here.”
Last week Pfizer scaled back production resulting in fewer vaccines coming to Canada over the next four weeks. Both the Premier and Public Health indicated that they have no assurances from the federal government that they would have enough vaccines to consider spacing out doses like in other provinces.
MacFarlane says those decisions should be left to Public Health, but says it’s telling that this shortage isn’t being criticized by the Premier.
“If we had a New Democrat, Green, or Conservative Prime Minister, the Premier would be putting pressure on,” says MacFarlane. “Instead, the federal government is getting a free pass from Nova Scotia. The Premier should be fighting for us to get more vaccines.”