"One more tragedy" that vaccines sit in fridges while seniors unprotected

Medical experts raise alarm over Canada's slow vaccination as long-term care residents and care workers continue to get sick and die while hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses sit in refrigeration.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Experts who advocate for improvements to long-term care in Canada say the provinces need to move faster to vaccinate residents and the people who look after them.

While more than 420,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are now in Canada, only about one-quarter of those doses have been injected.

Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, says there is no data yet showing specifically who received the first 120,000 doses.

But Sinha says in Ontario alone, there are more than 72,000 long-term care home residents, and about 100,000 staff, and that province has administered about 42,000 doses total out of more than 148,000 doses now received.

The first vaccine to arrive from Pfizer and BioNTech has complicated freezing requirements that meant initial doses were administered mainly at hospitals that had the right equipment.

Doris Grinspun, the CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, says that is an excuse and just one more tragedy piling up for long-term care in this country.

 

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