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City of Delta asks for 'equitable approach' for first responder COVID-19 vaccination

City of Delta first responders frequently provide assistance to other municipalities, says Harvie.
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Delta’s mayor says it is imperative that the city’s first responders also receive priority vaccinations.

Delta’s first responders should also be given priority to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

That’s what Mayor George Harvie is requesting on behalf of council in a letter this week to Health Minister Adrian Dix, saying they’ve become increasingly concerned for the health and safety of first responders and their ability to carry out essential duties.

“It is my understanding that first responders in other jurisdictions, including Surrey, White Rock, and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority have been approved to begin receiving vaccines. Given the essential and life-saving work done by first responders in all jurisdictions, it is imperative that the sector be treated consistently throughout the region with an equitable approach to priority vaccine access. This is especially important because first responders frequently work across jurisdictional borders to respond to emergencies to save lives,” Harvie said.

Noting that with the rapid rise in new cases, and how delaying vaccination for first responders could have significant consequences, Harvie asked for additional information regarding a timeline for vaccinating Delta’s first responders.

He noted Delta has a shared border with Surrey “and the associated increased risk to first responders and our community.”

Earlier this week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed the question why some first responders will getting a vaccine ahead of others, saying they need to prioritize by location where the risk is greatest.