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COLUMN: Vaccine floodgates should be opened

This editor’s column first appeared in the April 14 edition of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer
Registered Nurse, Teresa Friesen immunizes Dunrovin resident, Richard Brophy. Resident’s at the home were the first in Quesnel to receive COVID-19 vaccines. (Submitted Photo)

If the battle between COVID-19 variants and vaccines was a hockey game, the first goal of the contest would have gone to the variants.

B.C. is recording record-breaking numbers of COVID cases, health officials are assuming all cases are of the variants and the Vancouver Canucks were put on lockdown.

If the government is treating the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as our best weapon against the increased spread it’s time to unleash the big guns.

Age based vaccinations may have run their course. In Terrace, a clinic to vaccinate people over 70 was cancelled because not enough people showed up.

How many people in that community would have loved an appointment to get vaccinated? Instead we have vaccines sitting unused, while cases per day are continuing to rise.

Vaccine scarcity was used as a tactic, to get more people to sign up. But with the millions of vaccines Canada has ordered, that strategy has run its course. People know if they want a vaccine, they’ll be easily able to get one.

Instead of targeted clinics, B.C. should consider opening the floodgates and getting as many people vaccinated as soon as possible.

Each person vaccinated is another person less likely to stress our health care system, less likely to pass on the virus, and less likely to show up on a stats sheet to cause more restrictions.

Maybe the vaccines should be targeted towards COVID-19 hot-spots instead of age. Maybe there should be a preference instead of a requirement to give older people shots. Maybe we should still set up reserves for front-line workers to receive the vaccine.

I don’t have a perfect idea, but some kind of new strategy must be tried to prevent clinics from cancelling because of a lack of appointments.

Cassidy Dankochik is the Editor of the Quesnel Observer

READ MORE: Hoofin’ it and enjoying it in Quesnel

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