The time has come for us to adjust the vaccination framework to specifically target all front-line essential workers first. The current framework was established more than a month ago, when Ontario had just started to emerge from the second wave and case counts across much of the Province 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. We need to prioritize those most vulnerable, based on employment and lifestyle characteristics as opposed to just age brackets:
- Front-line essential workers (grocery store and pharmacy staff)
- Factory workers in Windsor, like Ford and Stellantis
- Migrant workers in Essex County
- Other front-line workers, as determined by experts
Locally, Dr. Ahmed and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit cannot move forward in isolation, as they are required to adhere to the Provincial guidelines for vaccinations. It’s time for Dr. David Williams, as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer to provide updated guidance and direct all public health units to prioritize those who are literally risking their lives when they show up for work. 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. Only through a more strategic approach will we be able to protect public health and also hasten the economic recovery.
-Mayor Drew Dilkens