Sims: Ford’s vaccine picture op falls flat in short-lived London

0
340

Breadcrumb Trail Links

Author of the article:

Jane Sims

Release date:

April 09, 2021 • • 1 day ago • • 3 minutes read • • 62 comments Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford, left, receives the Astrazeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Anmol Soor at Shoppers Drug Mart during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Friday April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette ORG XMIT: NSD103Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford, left, receives the Astrazeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Anmol Soor at Shoppers Drug Mart during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Friday April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette ORG XMIT: NSD103

Article content

Congratulations Prime Minister Doug Ford; You got your first dose!

You must be so relieved. It sure looked that way.

That lucky little photo of you getting your first Oxford AstraZeneca shot at your hometown pharmacy on Friday landed here in southwestern Ontario with an inglorious bang.

I was getting burned watching Ford chop off and itch from his Etobicoke appointment on Friday news reports. He raided the cameras, pretended to pass out after the pharmacist pulled the needle from his arm, giggled, then said everyone was doing a great job.

There are 25 pharmacies in Etobicoke citing people 55 and older as part of the expanded provincial program. These 25 locations are not part of the 170 in Toronto or 51 in Scarborough or 18 in North York.

In the Middlesex-London public health region, which has a population of over 500,000, there are two pharmacies that offer admission, both within a few kilometers of each other in north-west London. I suspect you would have to pack lunch if you had to get there by bus from Argyle or White Oaks.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

I was hoping Ford would have fixed this inequality after a polite phone call from the Mayor of London. Ed Holder said Thursday Ford would fix this “soon”. I used to say this to my children when they were little when they asked when a long drive was over.

Unfortunately there were crickets.

Obviously, the third wave of the pandemic is worse than we imagined. Ontario recorded 4,227 new cases, the second highest daily total since the pandemic began 13 months ago. There are 552 ICU patients in Ontario, and the London Health Sciences Center is adding 18 more ICU beds on-site, pending further patient transfers from Toronto and the Peel region.

Our numbers are growing on the ground, but not enough to get the Prime Minister’s attention. The health unit reported 139 new cases on Friday. Our active case number has reached 1,084.

COVID-19 outbreaks were reported Friday at a residence at King’s University College and at Perth Hall in Western, the seventh and eighth residences, where outbreaks have been reported since March 25. Students living in dormitories were asked to go home early last week, but it’s too early to know if the terrible spread across campus will continue. If so, our problems will get worse. Any implications from Easter gatherings will likely not be understood for another week.

One hopeful sign is that the local vaccination program has passed the 100,000-dose mark and the Middlesex-London age bracket will be expanded to 60 years and older next week.

But the pharmacy program is far behind. The only bright spot on the Oxford-AstraZeneca frontline is that the local first responders are getting their share of what the province has reserved for them. Health officer Chris Mackie said 4,700 doses were distributed Thursday and he is expecting another shipment of 1,000.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Doctors across Ontario receive 20 percent of the offer. If my math is correct, it should mean our 80 percent share for local pharmacies is 22,800 shots. Two pharmacies, Mr. Ford, are not enough.

The premiere was a gaffe machine when it comes to Oxford-AstraZeneca, the only vaccine that has raised some concerns about European reports of blood clots. The morning Christine Elliott, Ford’s deputy prime minister and health secretary, got her dose, Ford said he’d rather wait for another shot “than roll the dice on this AstraZeneca.”

So the photo op on Friday was sort of a cleanup in Aisle 9 for Ford to send out some positive vibes and encourage the Toronto residents to get involved.

But for those of us who are not from Toronto – and yes, there is life west of Mississauga – and waiting for the vaccine, it was an insult.

The state of emergency, the order to stay home, and just a general sense of frustration that we aren’t as important as the rest of Ontario were downright insane.

The school holidays will be spent at home again and there is nothing left but to wait. The patience is decreasing.

“If you look around the world now, Ontario is doing pretty well right now,” Ford boasted on Friday after a full day of bad pandemic news.

I can’t, premier. Unlike you, I wasn’t vaccinated.

[email protected]

twitter.com/JaneatLFPress

Share this article on your social network

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

advertising

This ad hasn’t loaded yet, but your article continues below.

LFP Noon Round Up Newsletter

By clicking the “Subscribe” button, you agree to receive the above-mentioned newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Remarks

Postmedia strives to maintain a lively but civil discussion forum and to encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. It can take up to an hour for comments to be moderated before they appear on the website. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have turned on email notifications. You will now receive an email when you get a reply to your comment, when a comment thread you’re following is updated, or when a user follows comments. For more information and details on customizing your email settings, see our Community Guidelines.