OPINION SIG

EDITORIAL: Patience required in the vaccination line

COVID-19 vaccinations are proceeding in an orderly, ethical manner

And so the waiting game begins.

It has now been several weeks since the province started vaccinating British Columbians against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

While a small minority of Canadians will refuse a vaccine outright, a significant majority are eager to get in line, according to an Ispos/Radio-Canada poll published in early December. However, we will have to be patient as it will be months before vaccinations are available to the population at large.

Of course, there are myriad considerations, both ethical and practical, that go into the prioritization decision-making process.

Foremost among these is “distributive justice,” which can more simply be framed as fairness.

At its core, this principle means that everyone matters equally and should be treated equally.

Of course, that is not possible when resources are limited, in this case, both the supply of doses and the people to administer them.

In such a situation, it is the principle of equity that must guide decision-making. In other words, limited resources should be preferentially offered to the people who will, and from whom society will derive the most significant benefit.

As such, it is logical, right and fair that first in line are: residents, staff and essential visitors to long-term care and assisted-living residences; individuals in hospital or community awaiting a long-term care placement; health-care workers providing care for COVID-19 patients in settings such as intensive care units, emergency departments, medical and surgical units and paramedics; and remote and isolated First Nations communities.

There appears to be one glaring exception to this equity principle. Among the first people in the province to roll up her sleeve was Dr. Bonnie Henry.

While Dr. Henry is the public face of B.C.’s COVID-19 response, she does not qualify under any of the above categories and, as such, has already received criticism for jumping the queue.

Consider this, however. In the Ipsos poll, 64 per cent of respondents were ready to receive the vaccine, while 16 per cent said they would not under any circumstance get it.

That leaves 20 per cent who are undecided or “vaccine-hesitant.’”

Since society at large derives the most significant benefit from as many people being vaccinated as possible, and since these vaccines are our best hope for returning to some semblance of normalcy in 2021, Dr. Henry demonstrating her confidence in them could indeed have significant benefit.

Meanwhile, the rollout is proceeding in an orderly, ethical manner, and we will all have our turn soon enough.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

– Black Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greg Janicki (left), owner of Dogwood Pet Mart rasied $410 this year for the Campbell River SPCA’s Loonies for Love fundraiser which he presented to Stephanie Arkwright, branch manager of the BCSPCA – Campbell River Community Animal Centre. Photo contributed
Pandemic doesn’t stop annual Loonies for Love SPCA fundraiser

Fundraising has been a bit challenging over the past year, but the… Continue reading

NIC Engineering student Johnny Marshall lowers a prototype oyster grow-out system into the ocean for testing in Campbell River. Photo courtesy NIC
NIC partners with Cortes shellfish company on oyster research

Study and testing hoping to mitigate the impacts of warming oceans on oyster mortality

The intersection at Dogwood Street and 13th Avenue, next to the No. 1 Firehall, will see some improvements over the next six weeks or so, according to the city. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Intersection improvements coming to Dogwood and 13th Avenue

Expect delays for up to six weeks once work begins, city says

Oyster River fire has responded to 56 calls so far in 2021. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Department
Oyster River Fire averaged one call per day in busy February

One weekend saw 12 calls for service from crew

The students in the Timberline Musical Theatre program are rehearsing this year’s production, Once Upon a Mattress, three days per week after school in preparation for their upcoming virtual performances. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Timberline Musical Theatre hoping for last minute ticket surge

Popular annual run of shows costs $7,000-$8,000 to put on. They’ve sold $750 in tickets

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Island communities asked to join forces in seeking help fighting illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Protesters gather at Victoria courthouse to oppose Port Renfrew logging

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

Mid day at the Vancouver Port Intersection blockade on March 3, organized by the Braided Warriors. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
Anti-pipeline blockade at Vancouver intersection broken up by police

Demonstraters were demanding the release of a fellow anti-TMX protester

Most Read