At 94 years outdated, Elizabeth Domokos falls into one of many highest-priority teams for COVID-19 vaccination — however she says she’s not all that anxious to get it for herself.
“Why ought to I fear about something at 94?” she mentioned. “I’m a happy-go-lucky outdated Hungarian woman.”
Domokos would moderately see her 68-year-old daughter, who’s battling most cancers, obtain the vaccine first.
“I would not really feel superb if I might get it earlier than her,” she mentioned.
Immunization groups have begun vaccinating residents in a few of Manitoba’s private care properties.
At first of January, the province mentioned it aimed to manage a primary dose of one of many two-dose COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible private care dwelling residents within 28 days. It is unclear if a recently announced slowdown in manufacturing of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will have an effect on the timeline for vaccinating care dwelling residents.
WATCH | Advocates say vaccine technique ought to have seniors up excessive:
However Domokos lives alone in an condominium in downtown Winnipeg.
Whereas she won’t really feel very involved about when her flip to get the vaccine will come, advocates fear that seniors like Domokos and others residing independently usually are not being thought-about within the provincial authorities’s vaccine rollout plans.
“I’m certain that there is a lot of them, on this age group, that do not know of when they are going to be contacted, or in the event that they’re being considered in any respect,” mentioned Domokos’s pal Ann Szabo, a retired registered nurse.
Care properties, well being staff prioritized
With restricted provides of COVID-19 vaccines, who ought to get first entry stays some of the troublesome questions going through choice makers in Manitoba.
As a result of seniors who stay alone won’t be as seen as these in long-term care services, Szabo worries they are not getting the identical diploma of consideration.
“They’re remoted, very a lot on their very own, and they’re scared and questioning if they are going to be thought-about,” mentioned Szabo.
The preliminary rollout of the vaccine in Manitoba has prioritized front-line well being staff, in addition to residents and workers at long-term care services.
The Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization identified four priority groups for the primary spherical of vaccinations: residents and workers in long-term care services, front-line well being staff, adults in distant Indigenous communities, and seniors, beginning with these over the age of 80.
Manitoba has begun distributing vaccines to the primary three teams, however thus far, no announcement has been made concerning seniors residing within the wider neighborhood.
“I feel they’ve misplaced their precedence,” mentioned seniors’ advocate Trish Rawsthorne.
Final week, the province expanded eligibility to home-care staff, in addition to staff in different congregate care settings, corresponding to Little one and Household Providers, incapacity providers and homeless shelters.
Domokos has two home-care staff who go to her, in addition to neighbours who repeatedly assist her out.
Szabo says that means whereas she won’t face the identical danger as these in private care properties, the place a big variety of the province’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred, Domokos may nonetheless be uncovered to the virus.
Seniors Advocate wanted
“If you wish to know who to vaccinate, simply observe the deaths,” mentioned Rawsthorne.
Individuals over the age of 80 make up roughly two-thirds of the deaths in Manitoba associated to COVID-19.
“If you aren’t getting these folks, you are going to inundate your hospitals with these folks, so it is smart to vaccinate these which can be extra inclined to it.”
A part of the explanation why seniors locally haven’t been prioritized could also be as a result of there is no such thing as a one designated to advocate for them, Rawsthorne mentioned.
She want to see an official seniors’ advocate created in Manitoba — an workplace of the legislature with duty over programs and points associated to seniors, just like the Manitoba Advocate for Youngsters and Youth.
“I feel that individual may have been the spokesperson to place a fireplace beneath those that are slowing down the rollout,” Rawsthorne mentioned.
As of Friday, Manitoba had administered 13,539, or 35 per cent, of the 38,890 vaccine doses it has obtained from the federal authorities, though that doesn’t included doses administered by First Nations.
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