What a mess.
I’m talking about the “brainiac” (to quote one Calgarian) decision of Alberta Health Services to initially open up – get this – four “mass vaccination clinics” in Calgary; a city of one million people, to be serviced, initially, by a grand total of 80 vaccination stations (that’s 20 in each location). 20 vaccination stations to serve, if you assume the Calgary population is evenly distributed, 250,000 Calgarians, assuming everybody shows up.
These clinics opened on October 26, initially from 8:30am to 8:30pm, however their hours were extended to 11pm when the powers-that-be realized the sheer size of the turnout. People were lining up at 5am; and some people, many (not all) of whom were either senior citizens or parents with small children.
Ron Liepert, the Progressive Conservative (and in Alberta, many PCs are “Conservative in Name Only”) Minister responsible, apologized to Albertans and explained that the Government was surprised by the turnout.
Oh come on.
With something like the H1N1 Virus, which is all over the news and otherwise healthy people are dropping dead from it, a reasonable person would have expected to see a large turnout.
Liepert explained that “the main goal for the early days of the immunization campaign is to vaccinate as soon as possible high-risk groups.” Clearly, what happened, is everyone decided to show up.
A new clinic will be opening up in Calgary tomorrow specifically for seniors and children, and the people accompanying them. Quite frankly, for the first two weeks (or less, depending on the turnout) anyone who is not part of a high risk group should be turned away from every vaccination clinic. If you’re not high-risk, you should be able to wait another two weeks (or less) for the H1N1 vaccination.
This way, the clinics would have been able to continue to offer both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines to the clients.
The lame excuses offered by Ron Liepert and Ed Stelmach just don’t wash; and, as the people responsible for services provided by the government, the buck stops with them. Granted, Stelmach and Liepert don’t have much to do with the base logistics of the operation; however tey are responsible for hiring the incompetent people who put this dog’s breakfast together – and in that, their own incompetence shines through.
Ed and the PCs in general just have to go.