Some New Brunswickers worried when people in long-term care will get COVID-19 vaccine
NOTRE DAME, N.B. -- With daily new COVID-19 case numbers consistently in double-digits, some in New Brunswick are wondering where the vaccine is and who will get it next.
Family members of seniors in long-term care are hoping they are prioritized so they can get back to seeing their loved ones.
Vaccinating the oldest, most vulnerable members of society should be a priority according to seniors' advocate Cecile Cassista.
"The rollout should start with our long-term care, our most vulnerable, and the frontline workers," Cassista said."That's what I understood it to be, but there seems to be a lot of mix-match going on, when I see administrators and others getting the shot, it saddens me."
It has some family members of long-term care patients wondering when their loved ones will receive the vaccine.
Shirley Stuart's 79-year-old husband is in a long-term care home and she signed the waiver for him to receive his vaccine, but that day has yet to come.
"I have no idea," said Stuart of Notre Dame, N.B."They told me the other day they didn't know when, that they would call me when they did have the vaccine and when he would be vaccinated."
It's been a month since Stuart has been able to visit her husband in long-term care due to current restrictions, which leaves her wondering when the vaccine will come his way.
"You know, I call the nurses every day, and they're very good keeping me informed, you know, on how he is doing," Stuart said.
According to New Brunswick Public Health:
One in four nursing home residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far.
Out of the 27,000 health-care workers, 10,136 have received their first dose.
The goal is for all long-term care home residents vaccinated by end of March, but that depends on supply.
"They need to prioritize what they're going to be doing," Cassista said."New Brunswick needs to do that, we don't have a big province to deal with and they need to make sure our aging population is taken care of. It's not good enough to have lip service."
In a release, the government said Tuesday that they've taken what they call a strategic approach to vaccine rollout. The plan is to vaccinate the most vulnerable, including health-care workers and long-term care centre staff. Though reduced shipments are causing delays, they're hopeful that will change in the weeks ahead.