'Put a plan in place': calls for Ford government to be ready when children's vaccine approved
With COVID-19 cases continuing to turn up in Ontario schools, there are growing calls for swift approval of the children’s vaccine, and for the province to be ready with a rollout plan.
Petrolia parent Alex Dacey said she’s anxious to get her two school-aged boys vaccinated -- especially after losing her grandmother to COVID-19 before an adult vaccine was available.
“Unfortunately her retirement home in Stratford was hit really bad,” said Dacey. “So we lost her, and all of our decision-making comes around that experience and protecting the rest of our family.”
Pfizer is seeking approval from Health Canada for a vaccine for children ages five to 11.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, speaking outside an elementary school in Sarnia on Friday, said she’s calling on Premier Doug Ford’s PC government to have a rollout plan ready for the children’s vaccine.
“We saw what happened with adult vaccinations here in Ontario. It was literally The Hunger Games. Mass confusion and chaos. People had to go hunting to find a vaccine for themselves or their families. We don’t want that to play out again. So we’re saying to Doug Ford ‘put a plan in place.’”
Sarnia-Lambton PC MPP Bob Bailey tells CTV News London that health units have submitted their own respective rollout plans. He said the Ministry of Health will sign off on them once the vaccine gets the green light.
“It will all depend on, of course, the geographic nature of the health unit. And there’s also a possibility...that these clinics will be held in schools, either before or after school so they don’t interfere with the school hour. Also, it will enable parents of younger children to be there with them, which I think is very important.”
A recent survey of parents on the children’s vaccine rollout by Lambton Public Health found what health officials described as “significant” interest in the children’s vaccine. Detailed results of the survey are not yet available.
In the London region meanwhile, the Thames Valley District School Board on Thursday night reported 10 schools, both elementary and secondary, with new COVID-19 cases.
Middlesex-London's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie told a news briefing on Thursday the children’s vaccine rollout in the region will likely begin in December.
“We will have large mass vaccination clinics open at the Agriplex and Mount Brydges out in the Strathroy-Caradoc area. We will have pharmacy partners, lining up to make sure that they can offer vaccine as well. For our mass clinics that are currently walk in will be going back to an appointment based system.”