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Letter: Fraser Health yanked my COVID-19 vaccine at the last moment. Just shameful

He's the sole caregiver for a senior parent
COVID-19 vaccine
A senior male is about to receive a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine. - Photograph via Getty Images

Editor:

Here’s a quick reality check for you on the roll out of vaccines to those in need and those vulnerable - and an opportunity denied.

I am the only and primary caregiver for a senior 87-year-old parent. As well as age, she has health issues and absolutely should have the shot.

Here’s what really happened. I live with my aging parent to care for her, saving the system tens of thousands of tax dollars yearly as I care for her and Fraser Health does less.

A couple of weeks ago, Fraser Health called to say they would come and give my mum the COVID-19 shot. I said it should be extended to me as well because I am the primary live-in caregiver. I also have health issues. At the time, we checked with my medical doctor as well as the Fraser Health case manager and approval was given for me to get the shot at the same time as my mum.

This morning (March 5) someone from Fraser Health called to say they were giving the shot(s) today to us. A few moments after the first call, Fraser Health called back to say my approval has been withdrawn based on some procedural nonsense they were really unable to adequately explain.

So, the public health person came, administered one shot to my mum and left me out entirely. I am having trouble processing this intellectually and emotionally for several reasons:

  • It had been approved and authorised by my medical doctor.
  • It had been approved and authorised by Fraser Health days ago.
  • The public health person was here, in my house, to administer one shot - a second shot would have been so obvious. I’m sitting there with my mum for the 10-minute wait time required after the shot. Two shots would have been as straightforward as one.

Now with the B.S. response from Fraser Health. I, as the only live-in caregiver was not vaccinated. I will have to wait, find another outlet for the shot and wait again, further exacerbating the risks and placing further demand and cost onto the system. It seems that we are not interested in administering shots to people where it would be most effective and expedient.   

A huge waste of time and resources because of some procedural manoeuvre designed, in my opinion, to limit access to the vaccines. We seem more interested in trumped-up procedural crap to deny access then in getting shots in arms.

If I lived 10 miles away and came to visit my mum once a week, OK, I get it. But a primary live-in caregiver to be excluded, especially after it was authorized, is completely unfathomable. I get that it’s hard right now, but the opportunity was an obvious quick fix that was ignored and now further stressing the already overtaxed system and continuing to place people at risk rather.

Absolutely shameful. Unbelievable.

Mike Walmsley, New Westminster

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