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Over the past few weeks, frontline emergency care providers have begun to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Some practitioners have received their vaccine quickly while others have found vaccine distribution lacking.

The additional delay in the delivery of some vaccine doses in the coming weeks adds to some of the frustration with the rollout and led to CAEP calling for transparency in the prioritization & administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Read the full CAEP statement and recommendations.

As emergency care providers how have you and your community been affected by the vaccine rollout? 

What can the BC EMN do to support the equitable distribution of vaccines in our communities?

Comment below.


Thank you for your thread, Julian. In Island Health, we understood that because we had lower transmission rates until now, we would receive less vaccine and be lower on the list provincially. I and many others were reconciled to that reality and appreciated the basis of that decision. We had hoped that the first tier of prioritization would include front line caregivers in acute care settings, as it has in many other provinces.   We have been told by the health authority that the decision to put vaccine in the arms of long term care residents ahead of, for example, the respiratory therapists working in Covid designated areas, is a ministry of health decision. I am confused as to how this policy developed, especially when it is a departure from the strategies of other provinces who at least place these populations at equal priority for vaccine delivery. We have a paucity of ICU/ER nurses, RTs, and certainly no surplus of front line physicians looking after sick patients on the island.   I imagine this reality translates to other health authorities as well. We also have the oldest population in Canada living on central Vancouver Island and we have been absolutely preoccupied with making sure that we keep these patients safe in our busy ER. It is hard for me to understand how front line acute care providers, many of whom are at high risk themselves irregardless of their professional status were not high enough priority to yet receive a first vaccine dose?   Like many of us, I have been terrified of being an unwitting vector to my patients and my loved ones and am following all protocols carefully, but more importantly, who will look after the patients if we are sick? Ironically I have been re-fit tested twice as N95s in my size have come up in short supply. It feels a bit like abandonment by those higher up the decision making chain as we ERPs resolve to continue to fulfill our professional duties and look after our patients in need, irrespective of our own immune status.   How can the EMN help? I suppose stressing to those in power that will listen the need to follow science and rationale in this province's vaccine rollout plan as it has for this pandemic thus far is key, so we may ensure that all patients coming for emergency care, regardless of their presenting complaint, receive the care they need. This requires fully staffed ERs that are capable of providing this care safely and effectively. Like many others I have admired the leadership of our PHO and will continue to do so. As ERPs we also understand the triage system of mass casualty scenarios and are generally prepared to adapt quickly when circumstances change.   Mistakes will be made but if the motivation for all of our sacrifices as a population and as professionals has been primarily to ensure we have an intact health care system at sufficient operational capacity to look after patients, keeping front line acute care workers on their feet seems to be an integral part of that strategy. I would like to see vaccine delivery policies across our province that clearly reflect that. This is indeed the time to remain calm and be kind, and as ERPs we are all trying very hard to keep our patients safe.

Jodie Turner

January 20, 2021 • 02:27pm

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