Dilkens issues call to province to revisit vaccination plan

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. April 17, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown, Blackburn News.

Windsor’s mayor is calling on Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to rethink the vaccination rollout.

Drew Dilkens issued a statement Tuesday afternoon calling on Doctor David Williams to make all front-line essential workers the top priority.

“In the war between variants and vaccines, it would be a shame if we did not deploy the next round of shots in the most tactical way,” said Dilkens. “Only through a more strategic approach will we be able to protect public health and also hasten the economic recovery.”

Dilkens listed teachers, grocery store and pharmacy staff, factory workers, migrant workers, and other front-line workers as determined by experts.

He said the Windsor Essex County Health Unit could not do it alone since they have to follow guidelines set provincially.

The current framework was set as Ontario emerged from the second wave of the pandemic, and case counts province-wide were low.

“With the rise of variants and increased case counts among younger adults, it’s time for public health officials to revisit the ethical framework for vaccinations and update the guidelines to protect those who are most at risk,” Dilkens asserted.

His comments echo some made on Monday by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association. The two teachers’ unions called on the Ford government to move education workers to the front of the line for vaccines. Otherwise, it recommended moving students in the province’s “hot spots” to full-time remote learning.