An open letter to Steve Clark, MPP

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Dear Mr. Clark:

With the elimination of masking and other safeguards against being infected by Covid-19 or variants, it would seem to me to be even more important that the population be fully vaccinated.

My husband and I are seniors. We each have had the original two vaccinations, plus one booster shot. We received the booster shot on December 15, 2021. We had understood that those of us over the age of 65 would be eligible for the second booster shot three months later.

I went online to try to book an appointment and was told that we could only get this booster if we get a letter from our physician confirming that we are immune-compromised. Before going online, I visited both the Pharmacy at the Independent Store, and Shoppers Drug Mart in Kemptville, and was told that they have no supply of vaccine on hand and have no idea whether or not they will have it at some future date.

I am at a loss to understand the rationale behind this. There is no doubt that seniors are more vulnerable, that the removal of the requirement to wear masks in public places, and opening up large venues, will increase the risk of infection, and that a new variant has now been identified. Surely, it would make sense to encourage more people to become fully vaccinated. I have not seen any vaccination data lately as this, as well as the numbers of Covid-19 cases, appear to no longer be published. However, the last data I am aware of was that approximately 80% of the population has had only one vaccination. One would think that the goal would be at least 85% fully vaccinated, including at least one booster shot. 

I fully expected that the Ministry of Health would make it easier, not harder, to get vaccinated, and that a campaign would be organized to encourage the population to be fully vaccinated. You have even closed the vaccination centre at the Municipal Centre in Kemptville, so, as a result,  when we do obtain the required letter from our physician, we will have to travel to Winchester or Brockville to be vaccinated.

I have read that we are now being told that Covid-19 will be epidemic, as is Flu, and that we just have to learn to live with it (or die with it). We have no problem obtaining the flu vaccine each year. In fact, every pharmacy has signs encouraging us to have the flu shot, and our physician’s office phones to make an appointment for our flu shot. So why would you not make it just as easy to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and its variants?

I hope that I will receive an actual response to my question and not just a form email from your PA. This question has come up in discussions with a number of  seniors I know  who will also be waiting for your response.

Shirley Price

Kemptville

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